"The team that beats India will win" - Salman Butt's prediction for World Cup 2023
Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt feels that Team India are the frontrunners to clinch the ICC World Cup 2023 trophy in the upcoming edition.
He pointed out how India have checked all the boxes ahead of the ICC event. Butt opined that if a side manage to trump the Men in Blue at the 50-over World Cup, they will have a significant chance of taking home the silverware.
Butt made these remarks in his latest YouTube video (8:35). He said:
"India are the only one in world cricket to have this ultimate rise. Everyone is talking about four teams to watch out for in the upcoming World Cup. However, what I believe is that the team that beats India will win the World Cup. India are the best team. Their batting is complete, and their bowling is most suitable to these conditions. Unless they themselves make mistakes, it is unlikely that any team will be even near them."
Salman Butt further stated that the Men in Blue have shown immense growth as a cricketing nation over the past few years. He spoke about how, from infrastructure to the overall development of the team, there have been noteworthy improvements in all departments.
He added (3:30):
"India have improved significantly over the past few years. The fitness levels of these players are far better than what we say 15 years back. Similarly, the fielding standards have also improved. From infrastructure to commentators to experts to their kit, everything related to cricket in India is top-notch."
India have gathered momentum ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023. Their success at the Asia Cup 2023 campaign and subsequent home series win over Australia are bound to give them a lot of confidence ahead of the marquee event.
"Amid the rise of franchise-based T20 leagues, India is the only country whose cricket has improved" - Salman Butt
Salman Butt highlighted that the rise of franchise-based T20 leagues has had an adverse effect on the quality of international teams. He claimed that India are the only exception to that.
The cricketer-turned-expert emphasised that while T20 cricket has been the flavour of the season of late, India have performed admirably across formats, elaborating (2:15):
"Amid the rise of franchise-based T20 leagues, India is the only country whose cricket has improved. Test cricket and ODIs have suffered a lot with the increasing popularity of T20s. However, in spite of that, India are one team who have done well across formats. On the other hand, there has been a drastic fall for the rest of the teams. All other sides are struggling due to the rise of T20 leagues."
It is worth mentioning that India are currently ranked No. 1 in the ICC rankings in all three formats. They are the first Asian team to achieve this feat.