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‘I am Not Sure if India Will Win the World Cup’: Yuvraj Singh Says Middle Order is a Big Worry

Last Updated: August 08, 2023, 17:33 IST

Yuvraj Singh says India have to address the middle-order concern. (AFP Photo)

Yuvraj Singh says India have to address the middle-order concern. (AFP Photo)

The likes of Rishabh Pant, KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer are battling fitness concerns close to the ODI World Cup and Yuvraj Singh isn’t sure if India can win the tournament

Injuries to major players close to the ODI World Cup 2023 and an uncertain middle-order. India are battling twin concerns in the lead up to the marquee event they are hosting for the first time in 12 years.

Being host, India might be among the favourites to lift the title in home conditions but legendary allrounder Yuvraj Singh has his doubts over the possibility of Rohit Sharma-led team lifting the trophy come November 19 when the final will be played.

Yuvraj was the player-of-the-tournament when India became the champions in 2011 and when asked whether he feels the current set of players can end the decade-long wait for an ICC trophy,  the 41-year-old felt the team could struggle in pressure games.

Rishabh Pant is still recovering from the injuries he suffered in a horrific car accident last December while Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul are also battling their own fitness concerns leaving a big hole in India’s middle order.

“I am actually not sure If they are going to win the world cup,” Yuvraj said on YuTube channel Cricket Basu. “I can be a patriot and say ‘India will win because I am an Indian.’ But I see a lot of concerns in the Indian team, in the middle order because of injuries – Rishabh, KL and Shreyas. Three main players are injured. If those concerns are not resolved, we will struggle in pressure games. Don’t experiment in pressure games.”

Yuvraj said during 2011 world cup, the team not only had a solid top-order but also a good middle order. However, in the current setup, the middle-order continues to go through a lot of shuffling.

“In our time we had very good openers like Gauti (Gautam Gambhir), Sachin (Tendulkar) and Viru (Virender Sehwaf). Then we had a good middle order. Now, the top order is fine but the middle order sees a lot of shuffling. Suryakumar has had a very good stint in T20 but not so good in ODI. If you want him to play one-day cricket, you need to play him more,” said Yuvraj.

Before Pant’s accident, Yuvraj said the middle-order looked solid thanks to the left-hand right-hand combination.

He said India will have to fill that gap in the middle order if they hope to win the world cup.

“Hardik bats at 6 or 7 in ODIs, then there’s Rishabh, there was Jadeja. The left-right combination was working well. No. 4 and 5 are probably the most important slots in one-day cricket. In pressure games everyone has to contribute. No. 4 and 5 is a question mark. Rishabh is injured, Shreyas will be coming back from injury, Surya hasn’t done well in one-dayers. You have to fill that gap. They have to get these guys ready much before the world cup,” said Yuvraj.

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