Key Areas To Focus For India In the Lead Up To The 2023 World Cup

India will take on New Zealand in the third and last ODI on September 30

The Indian cricket team started its preparations for the ICC ODI World Cup at home next year with the series against New Zealand. A young Indian team lost to the Kiwis in the first ODI, as several senior players were rested after the completion of the T20 World Cup. From what was on show during the first match of the series and the 12.5 overs that India could play before the second ODI was abandoned due to rain, there are some key areas that the team management needs to focus on. We at NDTVCricket take a look at that.

  1. Brisk Start Need Of The Hour:As we saw in the opening match of the series, both openers, Shikhar Dhawan and Shubman Gill, gave India a solid foundation and scored around the run-a-ball mark. Once captain Rohit Sharma returns, it will be essential for the team to figure out who between Rohit and Shikhar will take the attack to the opposition bowlers in the powerplay. The impact of T20 cricket has been massive even on the 50-over format and most of the top ODI teams, which includes world champions England, target the powerplay to get a big start. This reduces the pressure on the lower order to go hammer and tong in the last 10 and also increases the chance of the team scoring in excess of 350 regularly.
  2. Suryakumar Yadav at number 3: There is enough evidence over the past year or so that Suryakumar Yadav is the lynchpin of India’s batting currently. Hence, it becomes essential that he faces as many balls as possible to give India the chance to post big totals. His ability to attack good deliveries and get runs at a quick pace means he can lay the foundation for big scores from the beginning itself. India’s timid approach in the powerplay cost them in the T20 World Cup, they should look to make changes in the ODIs if they are to win back the crown won in 2011, even if it means dropping the legend Virat Kohli to number 4.
  3. Batters who can bowl: While the likes of Ravindra Jadeja and Hardik Pandya are expected to return to the squad at some point, India still need its batters to contribute with the ball. The likes of Deepak Hooda should get more opportunities to bowl and bat so that India have 6-7 bowling options when going into big matches.
  4. A robust strategy while defending targets:India’s biggest problem in white-ball cricket has been its inability to defend big totals. It is essential that the team identifies bowlers, and a clear strategy, to check the flow of runs. Pakistan is a great example where they have identified bowlers to bowl effectively at different stages of a match. India can take a leaf out of the book of the neighbours.

Some of these changes can be made in the last ODI against New Zealand, which will be played on November 30. It will be available live and exclusive on Prime Video. It is a great opportunity for Indian fans and viewers to watch cricket on a platform that is providing some unique offerings.  Live cricket will be made immersive and accessible with multi-language feeds, fantastic studio programming and a superb set of commentators to take the fans through the series.

Prime Video will also offer an English language live one-hour pre-show before each game. The mid-innings break will feature a 15 minute show which will be a recap of the first innings and preview of the second. The live programming also involves a 30 minute post-match presentation and analysis by Prime Video’s stable of cricket experts.

Curating a new viewing experience for live sports, Prime Video will offer customers new features like in-game language selector and “Rapid Recap”. The in-game language selector will allow customers to change language (e.g., English to Hindi) seamlessly without exiting the player. Customers joining a game in progress can catch-up on impactful game highlights using the “Rapid Recap” feature before transitioning to the live stream automatically.

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