Shreyas Iyer (left) and KL Rahul. (Photo: AP)
Team India head coach and former India captain Rahul Dravid have insights into the side’s performance in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 after Rohit Sharma’s team topped the Points Table at the end of the league stages to march into the semifinals. India have won nine matches in a row and are the only unbeaten side in the tournament so far.
The upcoming challenge for India is the first semifinal against New Zealand at Mumbai’s Wankhede stadium. Despite a couple of minor setbacks, such as a challenging situation against Australia in Chennai and a small total against England in Lucknow, India have showcased formidable strength throughout the event.
Dravid revealed that a unique mission had motivated the team, stating, “We set ourselves a little bit of a challenge ahead of the World Cup. Thousands of fans in nine different cities, and the passion of our fans. We really wanted to put our best foot forward and give a really good display. And I think the boys have responded and done really well,” Dravid told Star Sports as quoted by ICC.
Playing in nine different venues for their group games, India experienced success in various cities, with a 160-run win over the Netherlands in Bengaluru on Sunday night capping off the league stages. Dravid expressed satisfaction with the team’s recent performance and highlighted the importance of shaking off any cobwebs before the crucial semifinal clash.
“We had six days off, so it was really nice to get a game before the semi-finals. Just to get those cobwebs out, it was good we got what we needed. Five of our batsmen getting in there, getting their starts. A couple of boys going on and getting some really good hundreds,” Dravid said.
Team India head coach acknowledged the positive impact of experimenting with the ball, providing the team with valuable options and preparation for potential scenarios. He exuded confidence in the batting lineup, particularly praising the middle-order’s performance in high-pressure situations.
“I think our middle-order has been fantastic. Obviously, the top-order gets to bat all the time and has been scoring a lot of runs for us. When you look at the leaderboard on the numbers, you’ll see the Kohlis and the Sharmas, and rightly so. They’ve been batting fantastically and batting really well. But the middle-order is critical because you’re always playing in pressure situations.
“They don’t always play every single game, sometimes they get to bat after 30 overs when the ball is soft, when the ball is older. The wicket is getting slower as well, and for them to bat the way they are, whether it is Shreyas (Iyer), whether it is KL (Rahul), you know even Jaddu (Ravindra Jadeja) or even Surya (Suryakumar Yadav) in the knock he got. It just gives us the confidence that we’ve got that experience, we’ve got the ability and we’ve also got them in form and playing really well getting into the semi-finals,” Dravid said.