Former India legend Sunil Gavaskar suggests skipper Rohit Sharma to make New Zealand chase in semifinal
Team India will square off as the favourites against New Zealand on Wednesday, November 15, in a matter of a few hours in the grand semifinal of the ODI World Cup 2023. Not to forget that the hosts have remained unbeaten throughout the league stage with nine consecutive wins so far. Notably, the Indian team also edged out the Kiwis when they met in Dharamsala. But as the knockout stage approaches, the pressure of winning will be paramount on Men in Blue.
As a result, skipper Rohit Sharma despite playing at his home ground, will be in dire straits regarding the apt decision after winning the toss in the first semifinal. In the same vein, the former India legend, Sunil Gavaskar, has come up with a piece of sound advice for the Indian captain. For the high-octane game, Gavaskar believes that even though toss will not be a key factor for the outcome of the game, given how Team India have played fearlessly in the tournament so far.
Sunil Gavaskar who himself hails from the Mumbai brand of cricket, knows the conditions of the venue like the back of his hand. Hence, Gavaskar has suggested Rohit Sharma to field first after winning the toss. The legend reckons that the Indian bowlers will get more assistance while bowling under the lights at the iconic Wankhede, which will make life tough for the New Zealand batters, considering how the Indian pace trio in Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj have performed.
“Well, if you have got a good bowling attack like India have, it does not really matter if they are bowling first or bowling second. Clearly, if they are bowling second, it will help because we have seen under a little bit of dew that comes in, the ball flies to the wicketkeeper a little bit quicker,” Gavaskar said on Star Sports’ show- Game Plan.
It will help three new ball bowlers, Kuldeep to get the ball to skid quicker: Sunil Gavaskar
Besides, Sunil Gavaskar also discussed the importance of Team India’s spin department in the first semifinal of the ODI World Cup 2023. He stressed the importance of Kuldeep Yadav’s role on Wednesday. The former Indian skipper said that Kuldeep can get the bowl to skid more in the second innings as compared to bowling first at the Wankhede. Hence, asking New Zealand to do the run chase will make them fall prey to the pressure of keeping the scoreboard ticking. Eventually, this may prove to be a very stiff task for the dark horses.
“So, it certainly will help the three new ball bowlers in the Indian line-up for sure, and it also helps a spinner like Kuldeep Yadav to get the ball to skid out of the surface also quicker. So yes, if India is defending a total bowling second, I do believe that will help also because there is scoreboard pressure, you might not be able to get 400 but 260 or 270, that will put pressure on New Zealand,” Gavaskar concluded.
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