World Cup 2023: Indian wicket-keeping batter KL Rahul, in a pre-match press conference ahead of India’s clash with England in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, expressed his team’s confidence in Suryakumar Yadav while acknowledging the absence of the injured all-rounder, Hardik Pandya. The match is scheduled to take place at the Ekana Stadium in Lucknow on Sunday, October 29.
Hardik Pandya’s Vital Role
Rahul began by highlighting the significance of Hardik Pandya in the Indian cricket team and lamented his absence due to a left ankle injury sustained while bowling against Bangladesh on October 19. Pandya has been a crucial member of the squad, contributing significantly to the team’s success.
“Hardik has been a very important member of the team and he has been there and he does a very important role for the team. So not having him is also a bit of a miss for the team. But it’s unfortunate what happened,” Rahul stated.
Suryakumar Yadav’s Opportunity
Rahul emphasized that Suryakumar Yadav is likely to get the opportunity to showcase his skills against England. Suryakumar had made his debut in the ODI World Cup against New Zealand but was run out after scoring just one run following a mix-up with Virat Kohli.
“We also at some point have to look at the now, and the present is that he is not available for this game. Surya will probably get his chance, and we know what Surya can do. So, our confidence is in Surya till Hardik comes back,” Rahul added, expressing trust in Suryakumar’s abilities to fill the void left by Pandya.
India’s Batting Order Strategy
Rahul also discussed India’s strategy of batting second in all their 2023 World Cup matches. He suggested that it would be a valuable opportunity for the team to bat first in some games, especially before the knockout stage. India has managed to secure victories in all five of its matches in the 2023 World Cup.
“It will be a great opportunity to bat first before the next stage, and in the next four games, if we can get to bat first, it’ll be a good challenge for us to see how to pace the innings. It’s been some time since we’ve batted first, so it will be useful for the team,” said Rahul, highlighting the importance of adapting to different scenarios in preparation for the crucial stages of the tournament.
In their upcoming match against England, India aims to solidify their position in the knockout stages, while the defending champions will be battling to stay in contention for a spot in the semi-finals.