Sunil Gavaskar: Facing Australia Early In ODI World Cup Can Be Advantageous For India

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New Delhi, 2nd July 2023: The highly anticipated ODI World Cup 2023 is just three months away, and conversations surrounding this prestigious tournament have already begun. The International Cricket Council recently unveiled the fixture for the event, which is set to kick off on October 5th with an exciting clash between England and New Zealand, the finalists from the previous edition, in Ahmedabad. The host nation, India, will commence their campaign against the five-time champions, Australia, at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.

Legendary batsman Sunil Gavaskar expressed his belief that facing Australia in the early stages of the tournament could be advantageous for the Indian team. During an interview on Star Sports, the former Indian captain mentioned that even if the hosts were to face a loss in their initial match, they would still have ample opportunities to bounce back.

Gavaskar expressed his belief that playing against Australia in the early stages of a competition undoubtedly provides an advantage. It would have been even more challenging if the match against Australia was a must-win encounter in the final stages. I believe it is always beneficial to face strong teams first.” He further added, “In case you don’t achieve a favourable result, you have subsequent chances. Additionally, if you play against weaker teams later on, you gain valuable insights into how to approach those matches and the required margin of victory.”

Reflecting on India’s victorious journey in the 1983 World Cup, Gavaskar recounted the team’s surprising triumph over defending champions West Indies in their opening match. He emphasized that defeating a formidable team at the start of the tournament significantly boosts the confidence of the side.

Our inaugural game took place in 1983, pitting us against the West Indies, reigning champions at the time. Despite the match being disrupted by rain and completed the next day, we emerged victorious. This victory was pivotal in enhancing our self-confidence as our previous World Cup performances were not noteworthy. We had not won a single match until then,” Gavaskar recollected.

India will play matches at nine out of the ten venues across the country, culminating with their final fixture against a qualifier on November 11th.