New Delhi : Former opener Gautam Gambhir believes highly experienced Indian cricketers like Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma will be playing a huge role in the side’s fortunes in the Men’s ODI World Cup, to be held in October-November later in the year.
While Kohli was a member of the 2011 squad which won the World Cup on home soil, Rohit didn’t feature in that tournament and was the leading run-getter in the 2019 ODI World Cup. Both Kohli and Rohit will be seen in 50-over action during India’s upcoming ODI series against Sri Lanka, starting from January 10 in Guwahati.
“I always feel that when we talk about this new approach, which India always talks about, the template and stuff, you’ve got to identify players who can adapt those roles or that template very easily. Some people just cannot adapt to that template so why push them to play in a certain way which doesn’t come naturally to them.”
“So, for me, I think identifying players and at the same time getting the right mix is very important, rather than thinking that we have to play at a certain template so we got to select all the 15 with a similar mind-set or with a similar template. I feel people like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and all those guys who can anchor their innings, who probably can play the spin really well will play a massive role in the coming World Cup,” said Gambhir on ‘Road to World Cup Glory’ show on Star Sports.
Gambhir also said that the change in rules in ODIs meant there isn’t much scope to get reverse swing for the fast-bowlers.
“First, you need to identify the players who have that fearless approach and probably in a format like 50 overs you need to have a mixture of every kind of player. There are players who can anchor their innings. Change in role has also made a huge difference,” he said
“During that time we had only one new ball, now we’ve got two new balls with five fielders inside. So, the role of a part timer has gone out of the window. The reverse swings, you don’t see enough reverse swings anymore, you don’t see enough purchase for the finger spinners as well,” he added.
After the first ODI in Guwahati, India and Sri Lanka will play two more ODIs in Kolkata and Thiruvananthapuram, before playing three matches each against New Zealand later in January 2023 and Australia in March as part of their ongoing home international season.