As the cricketing world eagerly awaits the ICC World Cup 2023, former Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag has offered invaluable advice to Team India. The expectations and excitement are soaring with the Rohit Sharma-led squad entering the tournament as the number-one ODI side globally.
Team India is on cloud nine, riding high on their recent successes. They clinched the Asia Cup and emerged victorious in a bilateral series against Australia this month. The team’s stellar performance has boosted their confidence in World Cup preparation.
With impressive victories under their belt, India enjoys a considerable momentum advantage. This momentum is valuable as they approach the World Cup, intending to clinch the coveted title.
India last tasted World Cup glory in 2011, and the cricketing world eagerly awaits their triumphant return to the podium. The 2011 World Cup, co-hosted by India, witnessed the legendary MS Dhoni leading the team to victory.
Under Rohit Sharma’s captaincy, Team India aspires to replicate the success achieved under MS Dhoni’s leadership. The pressure is immense, but the squad is determined to deliver on the world stage.
Virender Sehwag harked back to the victorious 2011 World Cup campaign, reminiscing about the pressure the team faced. However, one crucial piece of advice from captain MS Dhoni simplified matters for the squad.
“When we had a team meeting, we decided we won’t read newspapers, don’t listen to outside noise. Anything that can add to pressure, we won’t do. It had become a rule, and almost everyone genuinely followed that. We stayed together, and we tried to enjoy and do team-building exercises. Because it’s easy to drift apart in long tournaments such as these. Gary Kirsten and MS Dhoni ensured that we stay together,” Virender Sehwag said on Cricbuzz.
Sehwag revealed that they decided to shield themselves from external pressures during team meetings, such as reading newspapers and listening to outside opinions. This rule, adhered to by almost everyone, aimed to reduce unnecessary stress.
India engaged in team-building exercises, get-togethers, and cricket-centric discussions to maintain team unity during long tournaments. This bonding played a pivotal role in their success.
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The mantra that defined India’s 2011 World Cup journey was “focus on the process.” MS Dhoni encouraged the team to concentrate on their preparations and strategies. According to Sehwag, this unwavering focus on the process was instrumental in their victory.
“Before and after matches, we had get-togethers. And we used to talk cricket mostly. At dinners, cricket strategies used to be a topic. I used to give suggestions. That was a big reason behind our World Cup win. Of course, we had pressure. Whether we were on the flight, the CISF personnel, the hotel, the managers and waiters… everyone kept saying, ‘win the World Cup.’ But MS Dhoni has this one line, ‘focus on the process.’ Our process was good, that’s why we won,” he added.
The ICC ODI World Cup 2023 is scheduled to be held from October 5 to November 19. Team India will kick off their campaign on October 8, facing off against the formidable five-time champions, Australia, in Chennai. Before that, India will engage in a couple of warm-up matches.