Nasser Hussain
Nasser Hussain (Image Credits: Twitter)

Last Update on: September 16th, 2023 at 10:53 am

Former England captain Nasser Hussain believes that while India are one of the favourites for the upcoming ICC World Cup 2023, they are not ‘clear favourites’. The highly-anticipated ICC ODI World Cup is just over two weeks away.

The tournament will be played in India from October 5 to November 19. India have one of the strongest teams for the World Cup and the home conditions will also work in their favour. The Men in Blue will have not won the World Cup since the historic triumph on home soil back in 2011.

In the last two editions of the ODI World Cup, India bowed out at the semifinal stage. The Rohit Sharma-led side will be desperate to go all the way in the forthcoming competition and put an end to the series of failures in global events in recent years.

And while India are definitely one of the contenders for the World Cup, Nasser Hussain believes they cannot be labelled as clear-cut favourites. The former cricketer-turned-commentator stated that the World Cup will have a number of quality sides apart from India.

“They are the favourites but I will not call them the clear favourites just because the amount of quality sides there are in the tournament,” Nasser Hussain told Sky Sports.

Nasser Hussain on India’s squad and chances:

Speaking further, Nasser Hussain talked about India’s solid squad. He began by hailing Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli as two all-time greats before calling Shubman Gill a future great. He further stated that the return of Jasprit Bumrah is also a big boost for the hosts.

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“If you look at the squad I mean they have got two of the greatest white ball batters, there has ever been in the game. Rohit Sharma with three double hundreds in this format and Virat Kohli, a great player in any situation but greatest player in a run chase you would want, said, Nasser Hussain

“You have got possibly one of the future greats in Shubman Gill, he is a real talent. Jasprit Bumrah coming back for them is an outstanding bonus because he bowls in all phases of the game. I think that batting line -up and the bowlers they have is right up there one of the best squad in the tournament,” he added.

Nasser Hussain then went on to point a big concern for Team India. The England great said India lack part-time bowlers as well as bowlers who can bat. He also said that India need to deliver in pressure situations to win a competition like the World Cup. The ex-cricketer recalled some of India’s recent failures in big games to state that the Men in Blue have not done well under pressure.

“What they probably lack is if you look at their batters, their batters don’t bowl and their bowlers don’t bat. So it’s a different make up to their side to be with an England with all the all-rounders or Australia with all the all-rounders,” he said.

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“The other thing that they will have to overcome is the pressure. Now you would argue that an Indian cricketer is under pressure all the time. But where they have fallen short maybe since 2011 (2013) in the ICC events is when they reach to knockout stage.

“We’re there at the Adelaide in the World T20, they scored a below par score against England and England knocked them off. In the 2019 World Cup semifinal against New Zealand on a pitch that was doing a little bit prodded along.

“They got to go above par they have got to play a bit of fearless cricket, When you are get to the knockouts stage. I think they are in the knockout stage, when they got to a semifinal and the pressure is on that’s when they still need to play fearless cricket,” added Nasser Hussain.

India are scheduled to open their campaign in the World Cup on October 8 against five-time world champions Australia.