Players can take a break from T20 cricket, but surely not from ODI format : Gautam Gambhir

New Delhi : Former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir, who top-scored with 97 in Indias victory over Sri Lanka in the 2011 ODI World Cup final at Mumbai, believes the current cricketers should focus on playing more 50-over matches together in 2023, keeping the World Cup in mind and if they want to take a break it should be in T20Is.

“This year’s ODI for sure. If they want to take a break, people who play more than three formats, they can definitely take a break from T20 cricket, but surely not from the ODI format. They got to play together.”

“I think the biggest mistake that Indian cricket has made in the last two World Cups has been that these guys have not played enough cricket together. Tell me how many times have we got the best playing 11 on the park?”

“We haven’t, only during the World Cup we decided to have the best playing 11, but unfortunately that was never the best playing 11,” said Gambhir on ‘Road to World Cup Glory’ show on Star Sports.

With the BCCI saying the National Cricket Academy (NCA) will work with IPL franchisees to monitor players workload during IPL 2023, Gambhir believes the World Cup holds more importance than the IPL in this year and he won’t mind seeing a player miss the cash-rich tournament to be fully fit for the global 50-over event.

“So these guys have to play enough of white ball cricket, especially for the 50 overs World Cup together irrespective whether they want to take a break from the T20 or from the IPL. But the break has to happen in the T20 format and not the 50 overs.

If the franchisee has to suffer they have to suffer,” he said. Indian cricket is the main stakeholder, not the IPL. IPL is just a by-product. So, if India goes out and wins the World Cup, that is the bigger ovation, that is the bigger ring.

For example, if an important player does miss the IPL games so be it, because IPL happens every year and the World Cup happens only once in four years. So, for me I think winning the World Cup is far more important than winning the IPL,” he added.

Former cricketer and chairman of the selection committee Krishnamachari Srikkanth, who selected the 2011 ODI World Cup winning Indian team, said the squad for 2023 World Cup has to be finalised by the time India play ODIs against Australia at home in September.

“I think in my opinion, by the time the Australia series is over, this is going to be my best team. If I was chairman of the selection committee, I would say, this is my 15, look at the form in the IPL, and then make some probably minor changes.

I can’t wait till the Asia Cup and say ‘Man, after this Asia Cup I’ll select the team’, no way.” As soon as the Australia series is over, we have to communicate that you guys are going to play the World Cup, come on, do well in the IPL, keep your form there, make sure your fitness is fantastic, keep going and that will be the team. That’s what I would do if I was the chairman of the selection committee,” said Srikkanth.



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