Taking potshots at the Indian’s cricket team’s current form, former India skipper Sourav Ganguly said that only being the hosts doesn’t make the Men-in-blue the favourites to win the upcoming ICC World Cup 2023, starting October 5.
The Indian team has recently blown hot and cold in the ODI format with the top order putting up a flop show against a high-quality Pakistan pace attack in their Asia Cup opener at Pallekelle before Ishan Kishan and Hardik Pandya rescued the team from the blushes with a fruitful partnership. Even against Nepal in their second Asia Cup game, India’s fielding was below par with Shreyas Iyer, Virat Kohli and Ishan dropping three catches in the first four over of the innings.
Ganguly was replying to a post on ‘X’ (formerly Twitter) from former teammate Virender Sehwag, who wrote that India have a good chance of winning the ICC men’s ODI World Cup 2023, considering they are playing in home conditions. Sehwag justified his statement saying that in the last 3 World Cups, it is the host nation, who has won the tournament which gives India the added advantage.
Sehwag was replying to Yuvraj Singh’s post on ‘X’ that asked fans whether Team India had enough in them to turn things around and lift the cup? Yuvraj had posted, “We all want a repeat of 2011 in #ICCWorldCup23. In 2011 #TeamIndia shined under pressure. In 2023, again, the team is under pressure to perform. Do we have enough time to turn this around? Can we use this pressure to become a ‘Game changer’.”
To this Sehwag replied, “Ayi baat pressure ki, toh iss bar hum pressure lenge nahi, denge! Like champions! Peechle 12 saal mein, host team world cup jeeti hain. 2011 – We won at Home, 2015 – Australia won in Australia, 2019 – England won in England, 2023 – Hum Toofan Machayenge.”
Ganguly, then intervened and refused to agree with Sehwag that only being the hosts makes India the favourites to win the tournament.
He wrote, “Is #TeamIndia favourite because the World Cup is held in India or because we’re playing with strength and confidence @virendersehwag? Yes, we won against Aus in Aus, drew series against England but then we lost to them both in big match situations. I think we have a solid team and a big chance, but we do need to get back to our winning ways before the #ICCworldCup23.”