The closer the ODI World Cup 2023 gets, the more the faster the heartbeats of Indian cricket fans will get. Having not tasted success in ICC events since the 2013 Champions Trophy, the pressure is on Rohit Sharma’s men to deliver, especially since the World Cup is being held on home soil. However, considering the manner in which India’s recent assignments have gone, there are some who doubt the team’s ability to go the distance in the marquee event. Former Pakistan Shoaib Akhtar is one of them, especially as he isn’t fully convinced of Rohit, the skipper.
In a chat on Backstage With Boria, Akhtar admitted that there is going to be huge pressure on the Indian team in the World Cup as fans expect nothing less than the trophy from them.
“First of all, it is the pressure that you all put on the team. It is almost impossible to play with such pressure. Like I told you, it is as if you can’t lose. If you, God forbid, lose, all hell will break loose,” he said.
Akhtar explained how important it is for a captain to soak pressure and help his team perform. The last captain to help India win an ICC title was MS Dhoni. As for Rohit, Akhtar feels the opening batter tends to panic and lets the pressure get the better of him.
“The second and more important point is you had someone who could soak in all the pressure, and protect his teammates. He would not let his teammates feel the pressure, and that was the best thing about MS Dhoni. You won the 2007 World T20 under him, the 2011 World Cup and then the 2013 Champions Trophy. The moment Dhoni gave up captaincy, things went south for India. When I see Rohit, I keep asking this question of myself if he should have accepted captaincy in the first place? I think Rohit feels the panic on occasions and lets pressure get to him. The pressure of captaincy cripples you, and it happened with Virat Kohli also. That’s why you don’t win a major tournament,” Akhtar opined.
However, the Rawalpindi Express also maintains that the Hitman does have a team that can go on to win the World Cup.
“Make no mistake, Rohit does have the team to win the World Cup. As a batter, he is perhaps more talented than Virat Kohli also. He is a classical batsman and the kind of shots he plays, it is just mind-blowing. But with captaincy, is he being able to do that? Let him prove me wrong and all of us wrong, for that’s what all of India will want him to do in this World Cup,” he further stressed.
Topics mentioned in this article
- Shoaib Akhtar Questions Rohit Sharma’s Captaincy With Blunt ‘MS Dhoni Remark’ | Cricket News
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