Team India vice-captain Hardik Pandya feels India should continue playing the way they have been playing and use the pressure of expectations to their advantage to win the 2023 World Cup. However, Team India will begin their World Cup campaign with a thrilling clash against five-time champions Australia in Chennai on Sunday (October 8). They come into the mega event as the No.1 ranked side across formats and are heavy favourites with the World Cup played at home.
Speaking to the ICC ahead of the India-Australia clash, Pandya said, “We have got some world-class batters and world-class bowlers. We just need to come together, play fearless, take the pressure and expectation to our advantage and continue what we have done. It is exciting with a lot of expectations, but at the same time, we are going to get a lot of love and support and cheers which is going to get the best out of us.”
However, despite going into ICC tournaments as among the favourites over the last few years, India has fallen short of winning the titles since the 2013 Champions Trophy. And, Hardik Pandya has played two 50-over ICC events in his career so far – The 2019 World Cup and the 2017 Champions Trophy, ending in semi-final and final defeats. Moreover, he had a reasonable campaign in the 2019 World Cup, scoring 226 runs which came at an average of 32.48 and picking up 10 wickets in nine games.
“We have been No.1 (ranked side) for quite some time in recent years and it means definitely we have done really well and we just need to turn that moment into World Cups and we are confident this year we will be able to. I have always wanted to do a lot of good things in my life, but never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would reach here. It has been a blessing and a lot of good deeds done by my parents to get what I have and credit to them to see that and make sure I played the sport but at the same time, I supported. It was a dream to play for the country and I am living the dream,” Hardik Pandya concluded.