India will be under pressure playing in front of their home crowd, feels Sri Lanka’s World Cup-winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga. In an Indian Express column, the 1996 champion said that India will have to overcome the pressure from the crowd if they are to perform well in the upcoming edition of the tournament. India are going to host the tournament exclusively for the first time and will be playing the tournament as the favourites to lift the trophy.
“India will definitely have a huge advantage in the World Cup, however, they will have the biggest disadvantage of playing in front of their own fans. In India, the crowds will put a lot of pressure on the Indian team and they need to overcome that apart from the opposition,” Ranatunga wrote in an Indian Express column.
The former Sri Lanka captain was of the opinion that India needed to have a specialist off-spinner instead of all-rounders because that will give them the best chance to pick all 10 wickets in the game.
“They are looking more at the all-rounders like Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel, but I personally feel that they should have someone like R Ashwin in the squad, if not in the XI. When he plays, he can be a match-winner for you. He may be slightly older, he might be slightly slow on the field, but you need guys in the sub-continent who can contain and can take wickets,” Ranatunga said.
Ashwin has been added to the Indian squad for the 3-match Australia series set to begin on Friday, September 22. India captain Rohit Sharma said during the squad announcement that he was in touch with the spinner and it would not take a long time for the 37-year-old to get into his groove.
“They must have a different idea, but for me, Ashwin should be playing because the attack looks incomplete without an off-spinner,” Ranatunga further added.
India Squad for first two ODIs vs Australia
KL Rahul (C & WK), Ravindra Jadeja (Vice-captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, Ishan Kishan (wicketkeeper), Shardul Thakur, Washington Sundar, R Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, Prasidh Krishna
Squad for the 3rd ODI vs Australia
Rohit Sharma (C), Hardik Pandya, (Vice-captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, KL Rahul (wicketkeeper), Ishan Kishan (wicketkeeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Axar Patel*, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, R Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj