Team India’s decision to bench skipper Rohit Sharma and star batter Virat Kohli during the second ODI against West Indies has attracted severe criticism after their dismal performance. The visitors, led by all-rounder Hardik Pandya, were bundled out for a mere 181 runs, and West Indies comfortably chased down the target with six wickets in hand. As the ODI World Cup approaches in October, former captain Kapil Dev has expressed concerns about the team’s performance and the challenging fixture schedule prepared by the BCCI.
India’s decade-long ICC trophy drought has put immense pressure on the team to perform in the upcoming ODI World Cup, which will be hosted in India in October. Kapil Dev, the captain of the 1983 World Cup-winning side, emphasized the significance of this mega event and the need for Team India to be in top form. The team should focus on building a strong and consistent playing XI that can handle pressure and deliver when it matters the most.
Kapil Dev expressed dissatisfaction with the BCCI’s fixture schedule for the ODI World Cup. He pointed out the excessive traveling the Indian team would have to undertake during the tournament. With matches scheduled in nine different venues nationwide, Kapil stressed the importance of player well-being and suggested using chartered flights to reduce travel fatigue. He believes the board should prioritize the team’s comfort and readiness to perform at their best on the field.
“I don’t know. When you perform as good as that, it’s the right board, nothing wrong. But the right board also needs to improve. If I show you the fixture I have seen today, India is playing 11 matches and the amount of travelling they have to do… who made that fixture? Now, how can I look after my team when they are playing in India?” said Kapil on The Week.
“You are going to Dharamshala, then to Bengaluru, to Kolkata… playing in nine different places. Somebody asked me, and I said, ‘If I were the board president, I would have a chartered flight for my team.’ I want them to give their best performance on the field. These are the things the board has to do,” he added.
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The ODI World Cup is set to commence on October 5, with England taking on New Zealand in the opening match in Ahmedabad. Team India’s first match is against Australia on October 8 in Chennai. Ahead of the tournament, the Indian team must address the concerns raised by the recent experiment and focus on building a winning combination. The third and final ODI against West Indies allows the team to regroup and demonstrate their potential before the highly anticipated ODI World Cup.