Former India National Cricket Team pace bowler S Sreesanth, who was part of India’s 2011 World Cup-winning squad, has opined that the premier all-rounder Hardik Pandya or the star left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav could bag the Man of the Tournament award in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023.
The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 is the 13th edition of the 50-over Cricket World Cup, which is scheduled to be held from October 5 to November 19 in India. This is the first time India will be hosting an ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup alone. They previously co-hosted the World Cups with other countries in 1987, 1996, and 2011.
A total of 10 teams will take part in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023. The marquee tournament is set to be played across 12 different venues in the country. Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow, Chennai, Delhi, Dharamsala, Mumbai, Pune, Guwahati, and Thiruvananthapuram are the 12 venues for matches. Notably, Guwahati and Thiruvananthapuram will only host warm-up matches.
The last few editions of the 50-over World Cup have been won by the home teams and there will be an additional pressure on Rohit Sharma & Co. to continue that tradition and win the ICC title. India last won an ICC title way back in 2013 under the leadership of MS Dhoni. Also, India’s last ODI World Cup win came in 2011 under captain Dhoni.
Hardik Pandya could be close to that award – S Sreesanth
Speaking to Sportskeeda, S Sreesanth highlighted that the legendary cricketer Yuvraj Singh was at his sensational best and he delivered an all-round performance in the 2011 World Cup to win the Player of the Tournament award. He believes that Hardik Pandya could also showcase his all-round heroics in the World Cup and win the prestigious award. He also named Kuldeep Yadav as one of the top contenders for the Player of the Tournament award. Sreesanth elaborated:
“Yuvi Paaji did it for us so if you look at the Man of the Series award and if you think an all-rounder should do it then Hardik Pandya could be close to that award. He will be important for India. Kuldeep Yadav can also win it or be among the top three contenders if he keeps shattering records in the World Cup.
“Don’t forget Hardik’s fastest hundred. Don’t forget Bumrah’s two five-wicket hauls. Kuldeep Yadav will bowl the best spell ever seen by an Indian spinner.“
S Sreesanth further made a bold prediction, saying that the summit clash of the upcoming World Cup will see the battle between India and New Zealand and the Men In Blue will hammer the opposition. He said:
“I feel it will be India and New Zealand in the final. We will take revenge of the 2019 World Cup and hopefully do something similar to the 50-all-out against Sri Lanka. I am pretty positive and as Indian fans everyone should think about India winning.”