Yuvraj Singh Urges Indian Cricket Team to Give Their All in Pursuit of 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup Victory
Yuvraj Singh, the Player of the Tournament in the 2011 World Cup, encourages the current Indian cricket team to embrace pressure, commit to their best efforts, and vie for victory in the upcoming 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup.
Yuvraj Singh, who earned the Player of the Tournament accolade during India’s triumphant 2011 World Cup campaign on home turf, has emphasized the importance of every member of the current team handling pressure, giving their utmost effort, and striving for victory in the upcoming 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup.
It has been over a decade since India secured an ICC event title, with their last significant triumph being the 2013 Champions Trophy in England. Since then, the quest for an ICC title has remained unfulfilled in Indian cricket.
However, with the recent trend of host nations emerging victorious in the last three Men’s ODI World Cups, coupled with India’s triumph in the Asia Cup and a 2-1 series victory over Australia, there is renewed optimism about India ending their ten-year drought of global trophies.
“It has been a while since we won an ICC trophy. We reached two finals, one in the World Test Championship in 2021 and another in 2023. I believe this might be the last World Cup for a couple of players in the team.”
“I believe everyone has to put their bodies on the line and give their all to win this World Cup. The tournament format is different, and once you reach the semi-finals, you’ll face immediate pressure in a crucial match. So, it’s also about handling pressure,” Yuvraj expressed in an exclusive interview with IANS.
India, the champions of 1983 and 2011, will commence their World Cup campaign against five-time champions Australia on October 8 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. Yuvraj also highlighted that teams like Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and England could present formidable challenges to India in the tournament.
“Australia has consistently been a formidable team with numerous titles to their credit. They have a knack for winning high-pressure games. New Zealand is also a strong team, while England has established itself as a formidable ODI side, and South Africa is performing well too.”
In the 2011 World Cup, the leading wicket-taker was a spinner, Shahid Afridi of Pakistan, who shared the top spot (21 wickets) with India’s left-arm fast bowler Zaheer Khan. Yuvraj believes that bowlers will play a decisive role in winning matches and anticipates spinners being crucial during the middle overs. Additionally, he mentioned the impact of dew in the tournament.
“Most of the games are scheduled in the afternoon. In India, the pitches generally favor high-scoring encounters. As the tournament progresses into November, the weather conditions will change. Some matches might witness swing, while the evening dew factor could come into play.”
“Furthermore, we might encounter pitches where spin will play a significant role. I’ve always believed that spinners are crucial in the middle overs. We have a strong bowling lineup capable of taking ten wickets. In this World Cup, bowlers will be the key to winning matches.”
Due to the introduction of two new balls shortly after the 2011 World Cup and the current rule mandating five fielders within the 30-yard circle during overs 11-40, India no longer utilizes part-time bowlers. This is a departure from the 2011 team, where Yuvraj himself bowled 75 overs and claimed 15 wickets in addition to contributing 362 runs with the bat during the memorable World Cup campaign on home soil.
“Rules have evolved, and now we have five fielders inside the circle. This makes it challenging for part-time bowlers to operate during the middle overs. In the current format, you need five specialist bowlers.”
“If these rules had been in place during our 2011 World Cup campaign, it would have been quite challenging for us to bowl with part-timers,” Yuvraj explained, emphasizing the diminishing role of part-time bowlers in ODIs.
Yuvraj, who retired from international cricket in 2019, concluded by emphasizing his involvement with Vicks, which launched a World Cup anthem in the national capital on Friday. His primary aim is to unite the entire nation in supporting the Indian team for the upcoming World Cup.
“It doesn’t matter which background you come from; on such a grand stage, the entire country unites and supports the Indian team. It fosters a fantastic campaign and also showcases the human aspect, sending a message that ‘we stand with you and will cheer for you all the way’.”