ODI World Cup 2023: A fit Hardik Pandya makes India clear favourites, says Eoin Morgan – The Indian Express

England’s World Cup winning captain Eoin Morgan says a fit Hardik Pandya makes India a genuine contenders for the upcoming ODI World Cup.
“The fitness level fo Hardik Pandya, his ability to bowl. He has bowl little bit in the Asia Cup so far but he has bowled really really well and there are very few sides in the tournament that would be a genuine contenders that will have somebody who bats in the tops six and and has the ability to bowl,” Morgan said on Sky Sports.
“It’s the old Ben Stokes role that we have for years with England.
“Australia have the likes of Stoinis and Cameron Green but that role genuinely balances the side and over the course of the World Cup we will see various different pitches.
“Majority of the contending teams have spinners that bat really well. There bases are generally covered.
“But having Hardik Pandya fit and being able to bowl five and six overs of the quality bowling really does in my eyes make them probably favourite.”
Former New Zealand seamer Simon Doull echoes Morgan’s view and said: “I agree with Morgan on the Hardik Pandya thing. If he is fit and raring to go then they have the likes of Axar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja, they are very good,” he said.
However Doull questioned whether India, who have all the weapons in their armour will be able to put it together when it will matter the most.
“They have got all the parts but can they put it together and can they play the style of cricket that makes them win a World Cup,” he said.
Eoin Morgan also said that playing in home condition will give India massive edge over the other teams but coach Rahul Dravid and captain Rohit Sharma will have to block the outside noise.
“I remember India toured here last summer. Rahul Dravid in one of his initial press conferences as coach said ‘We want to play fearless cricket.’ They are winning bilateral series all the time but fell short at the T20 World Cup, which was his first test as a new coach.
“They didn’t get it right in Adelaide but home conditions gives you a certain level of comfort, certain level of habit, they have already grooved over the years that is an advantage the other teams don’t have.
“So it would be lot easier to blocking down the noise in India because they have done it before but the direction in doing that will come from the captain and coach.”
Indianexpress
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