In an exciting three-match ODI series against Australia, India emerged victorious, setting the scenario for the next ICC World Cup 2023. With a resounding 2-1 victory, India demonstrated their superiority on the pitch, albeit a complete sweep remained elusive.
Pat Cummins, Australia’s powerful fast bowler and skipper, led his side to a decisive 66-run win against India in the third and final One-Day International. Cummins engineered a sensational performance that saw India’s chase of a massive 353-run mark fail. The loss, though, stopped Rohit Sharma’s team from completing a rare clean sweep of their Australian opponents.
Before the important third ODI, Indian captain Rohit Sharma revealed strategic alterations to the starting XI in preparation for the ICC World Cup 2023. One major alteration was the addition of Washington Sundar, a talented all-rounder, in favour of Ravichandran Ashwin. This choice underlined India’s dedication to developing a dynamic team capable of responding to changing situations.
Shubman Gill, who scored a century in the decisive match against Australia in Indore, was given a rest. This tactical move highlighted India’s batting depth, with the team’s management making smart choices to optimise their resources.
Shardul Thakur and Mohammed Shami, both pacers, have been given chances to shine earlier in the three-match series. However, neither was eligible for the third ODI.
Former Indian cricketer Robin Uthappa expressed worry over Shardul Thakur’s form during the Australia series in a frank YouTube video. While recognising Shardul’s talent for getting wickets, Uthappa pointed out that he sometimes surrendered runs, making him a bowler who generally goes for runs. Uthappa’s remarks aroused concerns regarding Shardul’s place in the Indian squad, particularly in high-stakes matches like the ICC ODI World Cup.
“Shardul Thakur could be a concern for Team India. Yes, he picks up wickets and is a high-quality bowler, but he leaks a lot of runs. He can be very expensive. That’s something that he will have to pay attention to. He is someone who is always going to take wickets, but when he doesn’t take wickets, he ends up looking a little expensive. In CSK, we used to fondly call him the golden arm. I am certain that his role will be very similar for the Indian team,” said Uthappa.
Shardul Thakur, a powerful all-rounder, has represented India in 44 One Day Internationals (ODIs), taking 63 wickets. In 2017, he made his ODI debut against Sri Lanka at R. Premadasa Stadium, demonstrating his ability as a game-changer for the national squad.
India’s success in the one-day international series against Australia demonstrates the team’s versatility and strategic depth. While they fell short in the last ODI, their previous performances and skipper Rohit Sharma’s strategic moves demonstrate their fitness for the ICC World Cup 2023.
As cricket fans excitedly anticipate the World Cup, it remains to be seen how the Indian squad, which includes stars such as Shardul Thakur, can rise to the occasion on a global scale. One thing is certain: the cricketing world will be watching intently.