ODI World Cup 2023: Sehwag offers advice to India; reveals Dhoni's one-liner in 2011 to handle pressure
Former cricketer Virender Sehwag offers valuable advice to the current Indian cricket team for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, drawing from the 2011 World Cup-winning experience, emphasising on the importance of focus and process.
Former Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag, a member of the 2011 World Cup-winning team, has offered some valuable advice to Rohit Sharma and the current Indian cricket team as they prepare for the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup 2023. India enters the tournament on the back of an Asia Cup victory and a 2-1 series win over Australia.
Sehwag shared insights into how the 2011 team approached the tournament, both on and off the field. He also praised the contributions of captain MS Dhoni and head coach Gary Kirsten in fostering this environment. He emphasised the importance of maintaining focus and minimising external pressures.
"When we had a team meeting, we decided we won't read newspapers, don't listen to outside noise. Anything which can add to pressure, we won't do. It had become a rule and almost everyone genuinely followed that. We stayed together, we tried enjoy and do team-building exercises. Because it's easy to drift apart in long tournaments such as these. Gary Kirsten and MS Dhoni ensured that we stay together," Sehwag said on Cricbuzz.
Sehwag recalled how the team's meetings and gatherings were centered around cricket discussions. They maintained a strong focus on cricket strategies, even during dinner gatherings. This collective approach was a significant factor in India's success in the 2011 ODI World Cup, which marked their second World Cup victory and the first in 28 years.
He highlighted the pressure that the team faced, with constant reminders to win the World Cup from various quarters, including security personnel, hotel staff, and more. However, he credited MS Dhoni for emphasising the importance of staying focused on the process.
"Before and after matches, we had get-togethers. And we used to mostly talk cricket. On dinners, cricket strategies used to be topic. I used to give suggestions. That was a big reason behind our World Cup win. Of course, we had pressure. Whether we were on flight, the CISF personnel, in hotel, the managers and waiters... everyone kept saying, 'win the World Cup'. But MS Dhoni had this one line, 'focus on the process'. Our process was good, that's why we won," he said.
It's worth noting that Virat Kohli is the only remaining member from the current Indian cricket team who was part of the 2011 World Cup-winning squad. The ICC Cricket World Cup is set to begin on October 5, with India's opening match against Australia scheduled for October 8.