Despite the injury-prone middle-order, Matthew Hayden, the two-time World Cup champion, has backed India’s selection for the Asia Cup and has billed it a strong contender for the ODI World Cup.
“In the lead up to World Cups you are always going to have some trial players and we have seen the class of Tilak Varma. I think it’s a good strategy in terms of not just this World Cup but even potentially getting into the next World Cup (cycle) as well,” Hayden said here on Monday on the sidelines of the Ceat Cricket Rating awards.
“The great thing about Team India is it’s got a really solid 1-2-3 combination. Similar to Australia actually. When you look at their last four or five months, they have had a really good strong, what we like to call, the engine room. And then they have got some good problems to solve through the middle-order. And if they can fill spots with a few talented young players like Tilak, put pressure on someone like Suryakumar Yadav, I think that’s a good strategy. Keep everyone honest in the side and performing, so not a bad move. I think it’s a great side.”
All of Hayden’s 22 World Cup appearances resulted in Australia winning each one of these matches. However, with the cricketing ecosystem having changed a great deal over the last decade with the evolution of T20s, a World Cup preparation is all but a distant dream for most sides.
Hayden, though, insisted that the importance of the ODI World Cup will continue to prevail.
“The way that the players, in particular England, are playing their Test match cricket, will tend to suit their one-day cricket and T20 cricket. Whereas they used to be very separate, I feel now that they are actually getting much closer in the way that players are delivering each one of the games,” Hayden said.
“One-day cricket is still a unique property because it goes through phases of play where it’s not just about fours and sixes. It’s about fitness and running. That’s in the field and also with the bat, which favours sides that really focus heavily on their fitness. Someone like Virat Kohli for example really thrives in a 50-over competition because he has that ability to be able to play all hundred overs of the match. I love the format, still, where it fits in the broader question of world cricket is a really interesting question mark.”
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