AB de Villiers identifies home pressure as India’s main challenge in Men’s ODI World Cup

South African batting legend AB de Villiers believes that while India boasts a strong squad for the upcoming Men’s ODI World Cup, the pressure of playing at home could be their biggest obstacle.

Renowned South African batsman AB de Villiers has offered his insights on India’s prospects in the upcoming Men’s ODI World Cup, highlighting the potential challenge of playing the tournament on home soil.

India, the two-time champions of the ODI World Cup (in 1983 and 2011), are set to commence their campaign in the 2023 edition against Australia in Chennai on October 8. AB de Villiers, speaking on his YouTube channel, praised India’s formidable squad, with Rohit Sharma leading as captain and Hardik Pandya serving as vice-captain.

However, de Villiers expressed his concerns regarding the pressure that comes with playing in front of the home crowd. He noted that the last time India played the World Cup on home turf, they emerged victorious, creating significant expectations for the team.


“The only worry I have for India is playing at home. Last time they played in India, they won. There will be huge pressure. That’s the only big obstacle in my opinion,” de Villiers remarked.

Despite this challenge, de Villiers emphasized that if India can effectively manage and control the expectations surrounding them, they have the potential to make a strong impact in the tournament. He encouraged the Indian squad to play fearlessly and focus on what they can control.

“But go fearless. And that is exactly the word I’m talking about. Forget about the pressure of the nation, that’s something you can’t control. Control what you can control. Fearless is the word I’m looking for in the Indian squad. If they can do that, they’ll go a long way and most probably lift that trophy,” de Villiers added.

Additionally, de Villiers shared his thoughts on Suryakumar Yadav’s inclusion in the World Cup squad and his transition from T20I to ODI cricket. While expressing his excitement about Yadav’s potential, he mentioned that a minor mindset shift could help him excel in ODI batting. Yadav’s current ODI batting average stands at 24.33.

“I am very relieved to see SKY in the World Cup squad, I’m very happy about it. You guys know I’m a big fan (of Suryakumar). He plays in a similar manner to how I used to play, but in ODIs, he hasn’t cracked it yet,” de Villiers remarked.

De Villiers believes that Yadav possesses the necessary skills and capabilities to succeed in ODIs and hopes he will get the opportunity to showcase his talent during the World Cup. Although Yadav may not start initially due to squad balance, de Villiers remains optimistic about his prospects in the tournament.

Following the conclusion of the Asia Cup on September 17, India is scheduled to play three ODIs against Australia at home from September 22-27. They will then engage in warm-up matches against England and the Netherlands on September 30 and October 3, respectively, before launching their Men’s ODI World Cup campaign.


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