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Beating Australia Key to World Cup Victory: Gautam Gambhir

Former Indian cricketing stalwart Gautam Gambhir has underscored the significance of defeating Australia as a pivotal step towards clinching the coveted cricket World Cup. In an exclusive interview on Star Sports’ ‘Mission World Cup,’ Gambhir, who was a key member of the 2011 Cricket World Cup-winning squad, emphasized the historical dominance of Australia in ICC events.

Gambhir remarked, “Look, I have always said this, and there is no doubt in this, that if you want to win the World Cup, then you have to beat Australia. In 2007 when we won the World Cup, we defeated Australia in the semifinal. In 2011 when we won the World Cup, we beat Australia in the quarterfinal. Australia is the strongest team in any ICC tournament. Remove the ranking, the ranking does not matter.”

Australia’s prowess in ICC One Day International (ODI) events is unquestionable, having secured the ICC ODI World Cup trophy a record five times, making them the most successful team in the history of the competition. Following them closely are West Indies and India, each having clinched the trophy twice. England, the reigning champion, won the last World Cup in 2019 and currently holds the title.

Gambhir further elaborated on the formidable challenge that Australia poses, “You can be in any position in the rankings, but Australia, when it comes to those big tournaments, the World Cups, I think Australia has got the players, they have got the self-belief, Australia has the ability to play those big moments really well. And you can see this, the two World Cups that India won, we had to beat Australia in the knockout stage two times. And the World Cups that we have lost, in 2015 we lost to Australia. So I believe that if we have to win the World Cup this year, Australia is going to be the most important game, and we start against Australia, so there is nothing better than that. So beating Australia is very, very important.”

Former Australian cricketer Shane Watson also shared his insights on the upcoming ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023. Watson voiced his support for Australia, highlighting the depth of talent within their squad. He acknowledged that India, as the host nation, possesses a significant advantage due to their familiarity with local conditions and their formidable bowling attack.

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Watson stated, “Definitely going to back Australia with the caliber of players they have. They have got a few question marks going into this World Cup, for sure, with a few positions and some injuries they have had, but the players they have got, certainly know how to step up in these big games. And India, being at home, they’d know the conditions better than anyone, their bowlers are obviously on fire at the moment, with their quicks and also Kuldeep Yadav who is only getting better and better. So India with their firepower, especially with their top order in particular, certainly can go all the way. So for me, Australia and India would be an incredible final.”

India’s preparations for the World Cup include a three-ODI series against Australia, beginning with the first match scheduled for Friday. Subsequently, they will engage in warm-up matches against England (September 30) and the Netherlands (October 3). India’s World Cup journey kicks off on October 8 in Chennai, where they will face Australia in what promises to be a thrilling encounter.

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