'It'll take one bad game for India to…': Ponting cautions Rohit, Kohli | Cricket - Hindustan Times

'It'll take one bad game for India to…': Ponting cautions Rohit, Kohli and others about World Cup pressure

Oct 17, 2023 05:16 PM IST

Ricky Ponting said it might take just one bad game for the pressure to rise on Team India in front of their home crowd in World Cup 2023.

With resounding wins against Australia, Afghanistan and Pakistan, India got off to a dream start in World Cup 2023. They were already pitted as one of the hot favourites before the start of the tournament and after their performance in the first three matches, it didn't take long for the hosts to get the 'team to beat' tag. Legendary Australia skipper Ricky Ponting, however, cautioned Team India ahead of their next fixture against Bangladesh in Pune on Thursday. Ponting said it might take just one bad game for the pressure to rise on India in front of their home crowd.

India's captain Rohit Sharma(AFP)
India's captain Rohit Sharma(AFP)

So far, Rohit Sharma and his men have maintained that the huge crowd support has acted as an added advantage rather than putting them under the weight of expectations. India's matches have expectedly attracted the biggest of crowds and till now, the Indian side has not disappointed them. India beat Australia by 7 wickets and followed that up with another with an 8-wicket routing of Afghanistan and a 7-wicket mauling of Pakistan. They are currently on top of the points table with six points and have one of the highest net run rates.

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But how will the highly emotional home fans react if India faltered in one of their league matches? "With the individual players that they have got it's going take one bad game as a team and as an individual for the pressure to rise. Obviously, they've got off to a great start and they will be happy with that," Ponting told ICC.

‘India have all bases covered’: Ponting

The two-time World Cup-winning captain, however, believes India have all bases covered. "I said from the start that I think they're going to be the team to beat. They've got a very talented team,” Ponting said. "They've got all bases covered with their fast bowling, their spin and their top-order, middle-order batting. They're going to be extremely hard to beat. But we'll see how they hold up under extreme pressure as well.”

India still have tough matches against New Zealand, England, and South Africa. And in a tournament like this, no team can afford to lose momentum.

"We can't sit back and say that the pressure won't get to them at some stage, or it won't affect them, because it will, just with the enormity of the tournament," Ponting said.

But with the kind of form captain Rohit, star batter Virat Kohli and bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Kuldeep Yadav are in, India would like to believe they have it in them to go all the way and lift the trophy.

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