“An absolute genius move” – AB de Villiers on India resting senior players ahead of World Cup 2023


Former South Africa captain AB de Villiers has lauded Team India head coach Rahul Dravid’s decision to give senior players like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah enough rest ahead of ODI World Cup 2023.

Notably, Pandya was rested for the entire three-match home series against Australia, while Sharma and Kohli were given a break during the first two fixtures. Bumrah was also not included in the playing XI for the second ODI.

De Villiers opined that it is an excellent move by the Indian team management, as it will ensure that the players remain fresh for the showpiece event. Speaking on his YouTube channel, he said:

“Rohit, Virat, Hardik, and Bumrah were rested. The senior players possibly need some energy for the World Cup, and that’s maybe the thinking behind it. I really enjoy that. They are No. 1 in the world at the moment. They’ve been playing really good cricket and a lot of cricket. This is the ideal time to let them rest. They’ve played enough cricket leading up to this. There will be some warm-up games as well.

“This will ultimately give guys like Rohit, Virat, Hardik, and Bumrah the opportunity to connect with their families to build that energy to make sure that when they join that team, they come in with a bang. It is crucial for your senior players to be mentally fresh. I think Rahul Dravid resting them at times leading up to this World Cup is an absolute genius move. A lot of people will say it’s complacent. I say it’s genius.”

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India performed admirably in the absence of their seasoned campaigners, securing back-to-back wins against Australia to pocket the ODI series.

“A lot of credit goes to Team India and coach Rahul Dravid” – AB De Villiers on the Men in Blue becoming No. 1 across formats

India achieved a rare feat by claiming the No. 1 spot in the ICC rankings across all three formats. Congratulating the side on the achievement, AB de Villiers mentioned that Rahul Dravid must be appreciated for his effort.

He pointed out how Dravid came under the scanner in the past, with many fans targeting him for the team’s underwhelming performances. De Villiers added in the video:

“Team India, coached by Rahul Dravid, who got a lot of criticism in the past, with a lot of people saying he’s not capable and not the right guy for the job, he’s too relaxed, all kinds of things were thrown at him, and look at where they are now, number one on T20Is, ODIs, and Test cricket. It’s a fantastic achievement and something that doesn’t happen very often. Australia were ranked No. 1 in 2015 and went on to win the World Cup. Same with England in 2019, they were No. 1 and won the World Cup. A lot of credit goes to Team India and coach Rahul Dravid.”

It is worth mentioning that India are only the second team to be at the top of the rankings in all formats at the same time. South Africa were the first side to achieve this feat when they rose to the top across formats in 2012.

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Edited by Sankalp Srivastava
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