Gautam Gambhir said if need be Indian cricketers should avoid playing the IPL and need to prioritise 50-over cricket keeping the World Cup in mind
Former India opener Gautam Gambhir feels seniors like skipper Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, who are great players of spin, will play a massive role in the ODI World Cup, to be held in the country later this year.
Gambhir said India need to identify fearless players and have a mixture of cricketers in the 50-over format.
"First, you need to identify the players who got that fearless approach and probably in a format like 50 overs you need to have a mixture of every kind of player. There are players who can anchor their innings. Change in role has also made a huge difference," Gambhir said Star Sports show 'Road to World Cup Glory'.
"I feel people like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and all those guys who can anchor their innings, who probably can play spin really well will play a massive role the coming World Cup."
The cricketer-turned politician said the introduction of two balls from two ends has changed the template in ODIs.
"During that time we had only one new ball, now we've got two new balls with five fielders inside. So, the role of a part timer has gone out of the window. The reverse swings, you don't see enough of reverse swings anymore, you don't see enough of chase for the finger spinners as well," Gambhir said.
"But, I always feel that when we talk about this new approach, which India always talks about, the template and stuff, you've got to identify players who can adapt those roles or that template very easily."
Gambhir said India need to stick to a set of players and try them in matches to succeed in the ODI World Cup at home.
"If they want to take a break, people who play more than three formats, they can definitely take a break from T20 cricket, but surely not from the ODI format. They got to play together."
"I think the biggest mistake that Indian cricket has made in the last two World Cups has been that these guys have not played enough of cricket together. Tell me how many times have we got the best playing 11 on the park?"
"We haven't, only during the World Cup we decided to have the best playing 11, but unfortunately that was never the best playing 11," he said.
Gambhir said if need be Indian cricketers should avoid playing the IPL and need to prioritise 50-over cricket keeping the World Cup in mind.
"So these guys have to play enough of white-ball cricket, especially for the 50 overs World Cup together irrespective whether they want to take a break from the T20 or from the IPL. But the break has to happen in the T20 format and not the 50 overs."
"If the franchisee has to suffer they have to suffer. Indian cricket is the main stake holder, not the IPL. IPL is just the by product. So, if India goes out and wins the World Cup, that is the bigger ovation, that is the bigger ring," he said.
"...if an important player does miss the IPL games so be it, because IPL happens every year and the World Cup happens only once in four years. So, for me I think winning the World Cup is far more important than winning the IPL."