The much-awaited ODI World Cup 2023 is just a few days away, and all the teams have finalized their squads for the marquee event. Although many think that every team have a fair amount of chance to lift the trophy, Pakistan legend Waqar Younis believes there’s one team which clearly has the upper hand and stands out due to their formidable line-up.
In a recent interaction with Star Sports, Younis shared his insights into the strongest line-up in the tournament, highlighting host nation India as a formidable force and discussing the much-anticipated clash between India and Pakistan in the second week of October.
Waqar Younis hails India as the strongest force
Younis minced no words when he named India as the team to watch-out for in the ODI World Cup 2023. According to him, India boasts a star-studded line-up that is second to none. He praised the team’s exceptional talent and depth, emphasizing the presence of not only top-tier players in the starting XI but also a potent bench strength. Younis further stated that this bench strength could prove to be a game-changer for the Men in Blue, especially if injuries strike during the tournament.
“If we only talk about ticking the boxes, then we will see no other team can match India; even Pakistan or any other team will not match India right now because India also have good spinners, not only the spinners who are playing right now in starting XI such as Kuldeep (Yadav), (Ravindra) Jadeja but also they have a strong bench strength. So, if by any chance, they face any injuries, the players who are sitting at the bench can’t be ignored due to their fantastic current form,” said Younis.
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Waqar Younis terms Pakistan a ‘weaker team’
One of the most eagerly anticipated matches of the ODI World Cup 2023 is the face-off between arch-rivals India and Pakistan, scheduled for October 14. Younis had some interesting insights to share about this clash clash as well. Although he acknowledged Pakistan’s strengths, he also couldn’t help but term them as the “weaker team” when compared to India.
Younis believes that Pakistan will be under tremendous pressure when they step onto the field in Ahmedabad to face the Indian cricketing powerhouse. However, he didn’t discount the fact that India too would feel the pressure, particularly due to the intense scrutiny from the home crowd.
“When you will play in Ahmedabad, which has one of the biggest and finest stadiums in the world, you will have to control your nerves and not only Pakistan will be under pressure since it is a weaker team as compared to India but India will be also under pressure because the crowd in the stadium will create pressure on both the teams and that will balance the pressure in the game,” highlighted Younis.
India’s last-minute squad change
It is worth noting that India made a crucial change to their World Cup squad, replacing the injured Axar Patel with the seasoned Ravichandran Ashwin on Thursday (September 28). The last-minute alteration signifies India’s commitment to fielding the best possible team.
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