In a surprising turn of events, Indian captain Rohit Sharma faced an unexpected setback during India’s opening match of the 2023 ODI World Cup against Australia at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. Sharma, who had previously showcased excellent form by scoring 81 off 57 against Australia in the last ODI of the preceding three-match series, was dismissed for a duck, falling victim to Josh Hazlewood’s bowling prowess.
Sharma, renowned for being the highest run-scorer in the 2019 World Cup, started this tournament on a disappointing note. Reflecting on Sharma’s unexpected dismissal, former Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar remarked that the Indian skipper had initiated the World Cup with a score of zero.
“In the previous 2019 tournament, Sharma exhibited remarkable performance, achieving five centuries and several half-centuries. However, in this possibly his final World Cup appearance, he commenced with a zero in the very first game. His initial footwork seemed sluggish, leaving him susceptible to incoming deliveries. Gavaskar expressed hope that Sharma could rediscover his 2019 form, which would undoubtedly provide India with a strong start to their campaign,” Gavaskar wrote in his column for Sportstar.
Gavaskar also highlighted the unpredictable nature of the tournament, noting that even teams traditionally considered underdogs, such as Afghanistan, the Netherlands, and the qualifying team Sri Lanka, had faced initial defeats. He emphasized that the competition among the teams would make this World Cup exceptionally thrilling, with no clear favorites emerging after the first matches.