India’s decade-long drought for ICC silverware looks likely to end this year, as the team is in the run-in for at least two major trophies. An Indian ICC title triumph this year will erase memories of that painful loss at the T20 World Cup knockout stages last year.
Hopes for an ICC title this year are high, and many commentators are beginning to weigh India’s chances to achieve cricket glory in 2023.
Indian cricket legends like Sachin Tendulkar and Sunil Gavaskar continue to voice out their optimism about the team’s players and their chances of silverware in 2023.
Some ex-internationals already have a list of titles India should win this year to register a successful outing overall. India is set to have a big year of cricket in 2023 with the Rohit Sharma side poised to participate in at least two marquee championship events.
Border-Gavaskar Trophy and India’s Title Chances in 2023
The ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy (India currently leads Australia 2–1 in the series). India winning the last game of this series will stamp their qualification for the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) later this year.
After the ICC WTC in June, India is set to participate in the Asia Cup 2023. This year’s edition of the Asia Cup might rekindle the rivalry between India and their neighbor Pakistan.
The ICC ODI World Cup 2023 will also take place on the Asian continent, so it seems India already has a packed year of cricket ahead. Fans, pundits, and ex-internationals all have different expectations from the Men in Blue.
Sunil Gavaskar Demands at Least Two Titles from India in 2023
Legends of the game have been more vocal, like Sunil Gavaskar, who expects nothing less than two titles from India. Winning an ICC title this year will end India’s 10-year wait for a prestigious international trophy in the senior format.
India is very close to glory with just one win between them and a place in the WTC final; the Men in Blue are expected to progress to this year’s final and lift the trophy in three months.
Sunil Gavaskar believes anything short of the WTC final win and ODI World Cup triumph will spell a bad outing for India this year. India is currently among the favorites to win the ODI World Cup since they triumphed in 2011 and are this year’s hosts.
Gavaskar spoke to Sportstar:
“When you see a champion being felicitated, you also want to be one. And when your athletes are improving their personal bests, that is when you know everything is on the right track…There are two titles that I’d like the Indian men’s team to win; — one is the World Test Championship and the ODI World Cup is the other. There is, of course, the Asia Cup in between these two. If that comes back to India, nothing quite like it”
Controversy Surrounding the Asia Cup 2023 and India’s Chances
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is adamant about not traveling to Pakistan for any competitive game. Controversies around travel arrangements and the BCCI’s reluctance to send players into hostile territory might dent India’s title chances.
However, there are reports the Men in Blue might play all their scheduled Asia Cup matches in the UAE. Reports also suggest India could play the final on neutral ground if they go all the way.
Gavaskar identified how fans react to media reports as a major cause of the ongoing rift:
“What the following for the game also does is to make the media; especially the online media, look to get more eyeballs or followers; and so anything to do with cricket and especially about Indian player
It’s almost a daily thing to hear some former player from across the border pulling down an Indian player and saying the Pakistani player is better. What these guys know is that they will immediately get a response from the Indian fans who will defend their favorite player”
Gavaskar on India’s Chances against Australia
Australia has already qualified for the WTC fina; and the Aussie team has been a thorn in India’s side for years. Recent heroics from Australia in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy means India needs to win the last game to keep their WTC final destiny in their hands. India is set to face Australia at the fourth Test match of this year’s Border-Gavaskar Trophy series. Victory for India in the final game will pit India against Australia for the WTC final in June
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