“If Virat Kohli Became Captain, Then India Would Be 100% Ready For ODI World Cup 2023”: Former Pakistani Cricketer

As the countdown to the 2023 ODI World Cup begins, the cricketing world is abuzz with excitement for the prestigious event, exclusively hosted by India for the first time. Former Pakistan wicketkeeper-batter Rashid Latif has voiced concerns about Asian teams’ performance in the upcoming World Cup, particularly in the middle overs. He highlights the challenges Asian teams might face in maintaining a high strike rate during these crucial overs, compared to teams like England, Australia, and New Zealand who possess batters adept at innovative strokeplay.

Rashid Latif’s observations center around the middle overs of an ODI innings, where maintaining a fast strike rate has become increasingly important. He suggests that Asian teams might find it challenging to match the explosive strokeplay of teams like England, Australia, and New Zealand during this phase of the game. The latter teams have successfully incorporated unconventional shots like the reverse sweep and switch hits against spinners to accelerate their scoring.

The ability to resort to innovative strokeplay has become a distinguishing feature of modern cricket. Rashid Latif points out that English, Australian, and New Zealand batters have honed these skills, enabling them to elevate the run rate during the middle overs. Their adaptability to different conditions and situations gives them an edge in the crucial phase of an ODI innings.

Rashid Latif expresses concern over India’s frequent personnel changes in the middle and lower-order batting positions, specifically positions four to seven. He believes that these constant alterations might hinder the development of a settled combination, potentially affecting the team’s performance in the World Cup. Additionally, Latif remarks on the absence of Virat Kohli’s leadership and how it might have impacted India’s preparation for the mega event.

“The one area where I feel Asian teams will struggle to match these sides are particularly in the middle overs when a fast strike rate is required even in 50-overs. The English, Australian and New Zealand batters have turned to reverse sweep and switch shots against the spinners into something very lethal nowadays,” Rashid said on the Cricket Baaz YouTube channel.

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Rashid Latif concludes by highlighting the significance of stable leadership in a team’s preparation for a major tournament. He suggests that had Virat Kohli continued as the captain, India might have been better positioned and more prepared for the World Cup. The stability and continuity provided by an experienced leader can contribute to a team’s cohesiveness and readiness.

“Indian team management has experimented with several players and if I talk about their batting the middle and lower order say from 4 to 7 they just have not allowed any new player to settle down with frequent changes. If they had allowed Virat Kohli to continue as captain, India would be 100 percent ready for the World Cup by this time,” Rashid concluded.

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