Men’s ODI World Cup in India aims to assert relevance of 50-over format

New Delhi: Winning the 1983 Men’s ODI World Cup at Lord’s was a historic moment for India, who weren’t given a chance by anyone to clinch the trophy. Life for India as a cricketing nation was never the same since then, giving the country the belief to dream and achieve big in the sport.

Four years later, in 1987, India went on to do something big – host the next edition of the Men’s ODI World Cup, alongside Pakistan. It got the World Cup hosting back in 1996, a tournament best remembered for co-hosts Sri Lanka setting a new template of ODI batting and running all the way to the trophy.

In 2011, the Men’s ODI World Cup was back in India, alongside Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, kick-starting a trend of the host nation winning the coveted trophy when MS Dhoni slammed the most unforgettable six over long-on off Nuwan Kulasekara at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

Cut to now, and the Men’s ODI World Cup is back in India after 12 years. But this time around, circumstances are different. India, firmly established as the superpower in the cricketing world, is solely hosting the mega event from October 5 to November 19.

The 2023 World Cup has an element of uncertainty which stands in a good intriguing way. With Covid disrupting the schedule and two T20 World Cups, plus as many World Test Championship Finals taking centre-stage, apart from injuries, it meant no team could field full-strength sides in ODIs continuously.

England go into an ODI World Cup as defending champions, and despite the less intimidating aura, look assured. Australia seem to be formidable in batting, all-rounders and fast bowling, but look light in spin cupboard. New Zealand are back as perennial dark horses who can sneak into knockouts and maintain a stoic look.

South Africa look great as a batting and spin unit, but are light in fast-bowling, due to Anrich Nortje’s absence. Pakistan has a nice mix of left and right-handed batters, but have weakness in spin and fast-bowling cupboards.

Sri Lanka can threaten big teams, but losing Wanindu Hasaranga is a tremendous blow.

Image courtesy of ICC

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