If needed top players should avoid IPL in ODI World Cup year: Gambhir

Gautam Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir. File photo

New Delhi: Former India opener Gautam 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 later this year.

"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 needed 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 thing," 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,” he added.

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