Former Australian captain Michael Clarke reckons that while Virat Kohli will be a big threat to opponents in the 2023 World Cup, India captain Rohit Sharma could be the most dangerous player in the tournament.
Both Kohli and Rohit will be key to India’s World Cup campaign, being the two most experienced players in the team. Playing at home, the Men in Blue are being touted as one of the favorites.
In an interview with Boria Majumdar on the show Backstage with Boria, Clarke admitted that Rohit will be under pressure as captain since India haven’t won an ICC event in 10 years. However, he backed the Indian cricketer to do a good job both as leader and batter.
“It will be [pressure will be there], but I think his captaincy is very good. I’ve said that for a long time. I think he’s a very good tactician. I think he reads the game really well,” Clarke said.
Sharing his thoughts on Rohit the batter, Clarke stated;
“Everybody wants to open the batting in India in one-day cricket. The thing about Rohit Sharma is if there’s any swing, he’s good enough to see that off. There’s not too many players in the game that have a better power play, that hit more boundaries than Rohit Sharma."
“So as good as Virat Kohli is, Rohit Sharma could be the most dangerous player in the World Cup. I just think he’s that good in those conditions. With Rohit, he could make a double-hundred. Like we saw with Mitchell Marsh the other night, battered beautifully and made 90. Rohit Sharma can make 150, 180, 200. He is that good,” the 42-year-old added.
Rohit has amassed 10112 runs in 251 ODIs at an average of 48.85 and a strike rate of 90.52, with 30 tons and 52 fifties.
“Kuldeep could be a big player for India” - Clarke
Among bowlers, the former Aussie skipper named left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav as an important player for India. According to Clarke, batters are still having trouble reading the spinner.
“Kuldeep could be a big player for India. Back of the hand, got an amazing wrong ’un. I still don’t think the batters pick him completely. I think he’s a massive strike weapon for India. Spin is still an important part of your World Cup campaign if you’re playing in Indian conditions. Even if they’re not taking wickets, they can change the pace of the game. They can slow scoring,” he commented.
Kuldeep has picked up 152 wickets in 90 ODI matches at an average of 25.62 and an economy rate of 5.13.