The India vs Australia ODI series kicked off on a positive note for the KL Rahul-led Indian cricket team on Friday. In the final stages of preparation for the Cricket World Cup, the Indian cricket team secured a five-wicket victory in the first match of the India vs Australia three-ODI series. The performance showcased excellence from key players, including Mohammed Shami, Suryakumar Yadav, and Shubman Gill, all of whom are integral parts of India’s Cricket World Cup squad.
However, one aspect of concern for the Indian cricket team management, leading up to the Cricket World Cup, is the team’s fielding. Several times during the fielding and while attempting to take catches, Indian cricket team players displayed shortcomings. Former Indian cricket team star Mohammed Kaif issued a word of caution to the side in light of the upcoming Cricket World Cup.
“Caution: India may drop the World Cup if they don’t catch well. Batting and bowling can win matches, but so can catches,” he emphasized.
Caution: India may drop the World Cup if they don’t catch well. Batting and bowling can win matches but so can catches.
— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) September 22, 2023
Meanwhile, India’s strategy of rotating their fast bowling options in preparation for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 has gained support from veteran pacer Mohammed Shami. India has implemented a rotation policy for their seamers since the beginning of the Asia Cup, wherein only two Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, and Mohammed Shami have featured in the playing XI at any given time.
This rotation has provided more opportunities to medium pacer Shardul Thakur, who is also proficient with the bat, thereby strengthening India’s batting lineup but limiting chances for the team’s full-time fast bowlers.
Mohammed Shami, who played just two Asia Cup matches under this rotation policy, made a significant impact in the first ODI against Australia in Mohali, clinching a match-winning five-wicket haul. India secured victory with five wickets to spare. Despite the uncertainties regarding their place in the playing XI, Shami expressed his support for the rotation policy and emphasized the importance of players understanding their roles within the team.
“This is a part and parcel of the game. It is important to understand the team’s needs. It is not possible that you will always be part of the playing XI and team combinations,” Mohammed Shami stated at a press conference after India’s triumph against Australia. He also emphasized the significance of being adaptable and understanding one’s role, whether in the playing XI or on the bench.