Team India’s performance in the Asia Cup provided a strong indication of their readiness for the upcoming ICC World Cup 2023. Despite a minor setback against Bangladesh, the Indian cricket team demonstrated their dominance throughout the continental event, ultimately emerging as champions. Their remarkable 228-run victory against Pakistan in the Super Four stage and a convincing 10-wicket triumph over co-hosts Sri Lanka in the final showcased their mastery of subcontinent conditions, which bodes well as the World Cup is set to be hosted in India.
The squads selected for both the Asia Cup and the subsequent ICC World Cup appeared to be well-balanced, with the team exhibiting competence in all aspects of the game. Towards the latter stages of the tournament, the team faced some injury concerns, prompting swift action by the management. They called upon Washington Sundar for the finals and included Ravichandran Ashwin in the squad for the ODI series against Australia.
However, amidst these preparations, there remain a few concerns that must be addressed prior to the marquee event. One of these concerns pertains to Ravindra Jadeja’s performance with the bat in the lower order. Gautam Gambhir, former India opener, emphasized the need for Jadeja to contribute more significantly with the bat, particularly in challenging situations.
“We know he (Jadeja) can deliver ten overs on any surface. He is an exceptional fielder, but he must provide better contributions as a batsman at No. 7 because you cannot solely rely on just six batters,” observed Gautam Gambhir during a discussion on Star Sports.
“In the event that Ishan Kishan plays at No. 5, uncertainties arise in that position as well. Therefore, Ravindra Jadeja will need to win matches with his batting, as there may be situations where you require 80 or 90 runs in 10 overs, and the No. 6 and No. 7 batsmen might be at the crease together,” he added.
Gambhir’s remarks were prompted by Jadeja’s less-than-impressive performances during the Asia Cup. Jadeja managed only 25 runs in three innings, averaging a mere 8.33 with the bat. However, he demonstrated effectiveness with the ball, securing six wickets in four innings at an economy rate of 4.34. Addressing this aspect of his game will be vital as India aims to perform strongly in the upcoming World Cup on their home turf.