With the ODI World Cup 2023 on the horizon, cricket enthusiasts around the world are eagerly anticipating the tournament, and the expectations are particularly high for the host nation, India. Under the leadership of Rohit Sharma, Team India aspire to clinch the coveted trophy, thereby ending their drought in ICC title victories.

It’s worth noting that India’s last ICC title triumph took place in 2013 when the MS Dhoni-led team clinched the Champions Trophy. The last time India secured an ODI World Cup was in 2011, under the captaincy of Dhoni, and fans are hopeful that the Rohit Sharma-led squad can recreate the magic of that historic win.

Ravi Shastri picks an ‘X-Factor’ in India’s squad

With an array of match-winners and cricket superstars in their ranks, the Men in Blue are well-equipped for the upcoming ODI World Cup. As cricket enthusiasts eagerly discuss India’s squad for the tournament, former Indian head coach Ravi Shastri has singled out an ‘X-Factor’ player who could play a pivotal role for the host nation.

Shastri has chosen Suryakumar Yadav as his ‘X-Factor’ from Team India’s squad for the ODI World Cup 2023. Shastri believed that Suryakumar’s ability to excel down the order makes him a potential match-winner for India.

“I’ll be watching him (Suryakumar Yadav) closely, very very closely. Because if your top order is firing, so you have 6-7-8 players, you will play him or Shreyas Iyer at this moment. But if all the batters are getting runs then that guy becomes the X factor in a big game, he can win you a game. Because at 6-7-8, the damage he can do with Hardik, they can just take the game away from the opposition in the last 6-7 overs. So that X factor you gotta think of, I can imagine that your batting is struggling but it’s not the case,” Shastri said as quoted by ESPNCricinfo.

Also READ: Sanjay Manjrekar predicts his four semifinalists of the ODI World Cup 2023

An ‘X-Factor’ for challenging conditions

Shastri emphasized that having an ‘X-Factor’ player like Suryakumar becomes crucial, especially in challenging batting conditions. He pointed out that if conditions are tricky, uncertain, or favor seam movement, India might need a player like Surya or a left-handed batter to provide the X-factor.

“If it’s (conditions are) tough, tricky, or seaming then maybe you don’t know. You have 5 proper batters, all five similar, instead of that have one X-factor – could be a left-hander, could be a Surya,” Shastri added.

Notably, India’s journey in the ODI World Cup 2023 will kick off with a high-stakes clash against Australia. The match is scheduled to take place at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Sunday, October 8.

Also READ: ODI World Cup 2023 – Ajay Jadeja takes on role of Afghanistan’s team mentor

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