'Lot of concerns in the middle order' - Yuvraj Singh highlights India's weakness ahead of ODI World Cup
India’s middle order has failed to rescue their team time and again in knockout fixtures in the past ten years.
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The ODI World Cup 2023 is just two months away as India prepares itself to host the mega event for the fourth time in its history. Being a home World Cup, the ‘Men in Blue’ will be under tremendous pressure to lift the cup and end their 10-year-long ICC trophy drought. However, the team management is yet to finalise their combination for the showpiece event with injuries to numerous regular players of the team.
Legendary India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh also highlighted India’s middle-order woes ahead of the cricketing extravaganza and said that the team will struggle again under pressure if that isn’t fixed. Notably, India’s middle order has failed to rescue their team time and again in knockout fixtures in the past ten years which has been the biggest reason behind India’s ten-year-long trophy drought.
“I can be a patriot and say 'India will win because I am an Indian.' But I see a lot of concerns in the Indian middle order because of injuries. If those concerns are not resolved, we will struggle, especially in pressure games. Don't experiment in pressure games. The skill work to bat in the middle order is very different from that of an opener. Is there anybody there (in the team management) who is working around the guys that will be playing in the middle order?," Yuvraj said on the Cricket Basu YouTube channel.
Notably, India have over-reliance on their star-studded top order of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. Recently, during the first ODI against West Indies in Barbados, the duo decided to not come out to bat with just 115 runs needed for victory. However, the move didn’t prove to be fruitful as India ended up losing five wickets in a seemingly easy chase and Rohit was forced to come out to bat to finish things off.
Asia Cup and ODI series vs Australia are India's last two assignments before World Cup
With injuries to KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant, India’s experiments in the middle order haven’t been that fruitful as Suryakumar Yadav hasn’t been able to replicate his T20I blitzkrieg in ODIs. The Rohit Sharma-led side is already under a lot of pressure and not having a fixed middle-order is going to further exacerbate their woes ahead of the mega event. They have the last chances in the upcoming Asia Cup and a three-match ODI series vs Australia to fix their issues ahead of the World Cup.