Former South African cricket captain and batting legend, AB de Villiers, believes that India has the potential to win the upcoming ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, provided they play with fearlessness and manage the immense pressure of hosting the tournament. In a recent discussion on his YouTube channel, de Villiers shared his insights on India’s World Cup prospects and expressed his optimism about their chances.
India recently unveiled their squad for the upcoming Cricket World Cup, captained by Rohit Sharma and featuring a lineup of seasoned players. On paper, they appear to be a formidable side with a strong chance of clinching the coveted trophy. However, the burden of expectations as the host nation could be a significant challenge to overcome.
“The only worry I have for India is playing at home. Last time they played in India, they won. There will be huge pressure. That’s the only big obstacle in my opinion,” said de Villiers, acknowledging the potential psychological impact of hosting the tournament.
Despite this concern, de Villiers urged the Indian team to embrace a fearless approach. “But go fearless. And that is exactly the word I’m talking about. Forget about the pressure of the nation; that’s something you can’t control. Control what you can control. Fearless is the word I’m looking for in the Indian squad. If they can do that, they’ll go a long way and most probably lift that trophy,” he emphasized.
One of the players in India’s World Cup squad who has garnered attention is Suryakumar Yadav, primarily known for his T20 prowess. However, his ODI performances have yet to reach the same level. De Villiers expressed his relief at seeing Suryakumar Yadav included in the World Cup squad and offered his thoughts on the talented Mumbai batter’s potential in the ODI format.
“I am very relieved to see SKY in the World Cup squad; I’m very happy about it. You guys know I’m a big fan [of Suryakumar]. He plays in a similar manner to how I used to play, but in ODIs, he hasn’t cracked it yet,” de Villiers noted. He believed that a minor mindset adjustment could be the key to unlocking Suryakumar’s potential in ODI cricket.
While de Villiers acknowledged that Suryakumar might not start in the initial matches of the tournament due to squad balance, he emphasized that the World Cup is a long tournament, and opportunities could arise as it progresses.
As India gears up for the World Cup, they will play two warm-up matches against England and Netherlands before their opening World Cup clash against Australia on October 8.