"You need to have the process defined even though the World Cup is about a year and a half away" - Zaheer Khan on ODI cricket being played in the buildup to the T20 World Cup

India recently defeated England in a three-match ODI series away from home
India recently defeated England in a three-match ODI series away from home

Former India bowler Zaheer Khan believes ODI cricket should continue to make its presence felt in the buildup to the 2022 T20 World Cup. He believes teams will also have to keep the 2023 ICC World Cup in mind.

With the shortest format's most covenant prize set to be up for grabs in a couple of months, the schedule also comprises regular ODI cricket. Team India are scheduled to face West Indies, Zimbabwe, and South Africa in a set of bilateral ODI series ahead of the T20 World Cup.

'West Indies is a great opportunity for the youngsters to get exposure and play, says #TeamIndia ODI Captain @SDhawan25 ahead of #WIvIND series.

Stating that the teams need to start laying their groundwork for the ODI World Cup in 2023 despite the focus currently being on T20Is, Zaheer Khan said on Cricbuzz:

"It is a balanced approach because you do have the 50-over World Cup coming in 2023. From that point of view, you need to be in touch with the game, you need to identify the personnel, you need to have the process defined even though it is about a year and a half away."

All the cricketing nations are currently embroiled in a tight qualification chase through the ODI World Cup Super League. India have already attained their place in the tournament as the host nation.

A total of eight teams will directly qualify for the event, while other nations will have to play the qualifiers in order to secure their berths.

"There is nothing better than match scenario" - Zaheer Khan

Despite the presence of ODIs in the schedule, the primary focus for Team India remains the shortest format. The Men In Blue have endured several near-misses over the years and will be adamant about winning their second T20 World Cup title.

Under the leadership and guidance of Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid, the team have devised a blueprint and are the No. 1 T20I ranked side in the world.

Gearing up for ODI No.1 against the West Indies ๐Ÿ’ชHere's @ShubmanGill giving a lowdown on #TeamIndia's ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ first net session in Trinidad ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡น#WIvIND

Zaheer Khan believes the second-string Indian team will only improve with more match action. Opining that they have a good opportunity on their hands, Khan said:

"When it comes to T20s, the more you play, the better understanding of each and everyone's role you are going to have, better understanding of the team selection you get."

Zaheer Khan concluded:

"From that point of view, the key players have been rested from the ODI squad, which itself shows that you want the bench strength to be exposed to pressure situations. There is nothing better than match scenario."

India will take on West Indies in the first ODI on Friday (July 22) at the Queen's Park Oval in Port of Spain. The two teams are scheduled to compete in three ODIs and five T20Is.

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Edited by Anantaajith Ra
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