In the lead-up to the much-anticipated ICC Men’s ODI World Cup 2023, former Indian opener and a key figure from the 2011 World Cup-winning squad, Gautam Gambhir, has shared his insights on what could be the defining moment for the Rohit Sharma-led Indian team. According to Gambhir, the opening encounter against the formidable Australian side, scheduled for October 8th at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, holds the key to India’s World Cup aspirations.
The southpaw’s perspective is deeply rooted in India’s past World Cup triumphs. In 2007, when India clinched the coveted trophy, they overcame Australia in the semifinal clash. Similarly, in their triumphant 2011 campaign, India bested Australia in a high-stakes quarterfinal encounter. The 41-year-old further reiterated,
“Look, I have always said this, and there is no doubt in this, that if you want to win the World Cup, then you have to beat Australia. In 2007 when we won the World Cup, we defeated Australia in the semifinal. In 2011 when we won the World Cup, we beat Australia in the quarterfinal. Australia is the strongest team in any ICC tournament,” Gambhir said on Star Sport Star Cast expert show ‘Mission World Cup’
‘Australia and India would be an incredible final’ – Shane Watson expresses his desire for finals of World Cup
Meanwhile, former Australian all-rounder Shane Watson weighed in on the potential finalists of the ICC World Cup 2023. Watson, known for his cricketing acumen, anticipates an epic showdown between arch-rivals India and Australia. He acknowledged the Australian team’s pedigree, noting that despite a few uncertainties, they possess the knack for rising to the occasion in significant matches.
The 42-year-old also showered praise on the Indian team, especially their top-order batting and the red-hot form of their bowlers. With India enjoying home advantage and a formidable lineup, including their top-order batters, the Queensland-born believed that they have what it takes to go all the way in the tournament. In his estimation on the same show, he affirmed,
“Definitely going to back Australia with the caliber of players they have. They have got a few question marks going into this World Cup, for sure, they certainly know how to step up in these big games.” He further added, “And India, being at home, they’d know the conditions better than anyone, their bowlers are obviously on fire at the moment. So, India with their firepower, especially with their top order in particular, they certainly can go all the way. So, for me, Australia and India would be an incredible final.”