The ICC Men’s WC 2023 is knocking at the door. Yes! The World Cup fever is here with less than a month to go! All the preparations of the last 4 years by the teams, all the wait & anticipation of the fans- everything is going to be put into reality in less than 4 weeks. Many of the teams have already announced their final squad of 15 members to be included in the world cup campaign.
This year’s Men’s World Cup Cricket tournament will be the 13th edition of the game. India is hosting the tournament this year. 10 teams will compete against each other in a round-robin stage followed by a knockout round. All the teams will face each other at least once in the game. The tournament will run from October 05 to November 19, 2023.
ICC World Cup 2023 India team list of 15 players has been chosen, as it seems, based on performance and with priority given to batting. Injuries and recoveries have also played a role in the selection. But with the emphasis put in the middle order and the inclusion of all-rounders have pretty much made it clear that India is betting on its forever stronger strength- staggering line-up of batsmen.
Key Players in the India Squad for the ICC Men’s World Cup 2023
India’s squad for the men’s ODI world cup has been confirmed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on 5th September 2023. The 15-member squad will include: Shubhman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammad Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammad Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, and Axar Patel. Rohit Sharma will be the skipper with Hardik as his deputy.
Captain Fantastic: Rohit Sharma as Captain of India National Cricket Team
Before getting into some details discussions, let’s keep in mind, this man scored 5 centuries in the ICC ODI World Cup 2019 and yet, India failed to reach the final of that tournament. ‘Expectations are high’- is an understatement here.
Rohit is still the most reliable captain, at this current situation, to carry the leadership of team India for the ICC world cup 2023. Thanks to his overall performance as a captain till date. Out of the 29 ODIs the Indian team played under his leadership, 21 matches were won. He also won the title of ‘Man of the Match’ in 22 ODIs he played so far.
Rohit Sharma has led the Indian squad to victory in the Asia Cup 2018, but the dream of being World Champions in the ICC Men’s World Cup is still untouched by this Indian team. And therefore, the demand as well as the burden of expectations are pretty high on him.
The Batting and Balling Line-up of the Indian Squad for ICC World Cup 2023
The team list for the world cup 2023 of India clearly indicates the preference of batsmen to ballers. Batting has always been India’s biggest strength. So, it’s only natural to see that the team selected for the biggest tournament in cricket will have the best batting line-up possible for India.
Captain Rohit Sharma will clearly lead the batting group opening the innings with Shubhman Gill and Virat Kohli is also there in the top order batting line-up. Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, KL Rahul are in the middle-order. All-rounders like Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Ravindra Jadeja and Shardul Thakur have been included in the team with priority given to batting.
On the other hand, the pace balling will be spearheaded by Jasprit Bumrah and will be supported by Mohammad Siraj and Mohammad Shami. Considering the confirmed list of players for the world cup 2023, Indian spin balling will be led by Kuldeep Yadav. Not to forget, there is Ravindra Jadeja to take care of spin balling too.
About the selection of this final squad of 15 members for ICC Men’s World Cup 2023, captain Rohit Sharma said, ‘We need to create that depth (in batting and bowling) as it was lacking in our team in the last few years. When we talk about depth in batting, that no. 9, no. 8 positions become very crucial. This is the best we can do with balance and depth. We have 3 all-rounders in the team, 4 ballers and 6 batters. We have thought about it a lot and named this squad. This is the best combination for us.’
The Surprise Inclusions in the Indian Team for ICC Men’s World Cup 2023
Return of KL Rahul to Perform Dual Roles
KL Rahul’s inclusion in the final squad for the Men’s ODI World Cup Cricket was not guaranteed as he injured his thigh in the IPL 2023. He practiced in Bengaluru’s National Cricket Academy and joined the team in the currently running Asia Cup’s Super Four stage upon clearing all his fitness tests.
He was the 3rd highest and the highest run scorer for India in the ICC Men’s World Cup 2019 with 361 runs and in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 with 194 runs respectively. Rahul was also the former vice captain of the India National Cricket team. And he is the team’s first choice for playing the crucial role behind the wickets too.
His entry into the team list for the world cup has cut Sanju Samson out from the team. This is the second time when Samson was so close to be a part of the most prestigious team of India’s cricket but missed out in the end. The last time he was replaced by Dinesh Kartik and Rishabh Pant, was in the T20 World Cup in 2022.
Ishan Kishan – the Most Promising Youngster
Prasidh Krishna and Tilak Varma are other two anticipated but excluded players from the final team. Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan have managed to secure their places in the squad too. Here, the 25 years old Ishan Kishan is going to have all the eyes on him for being the most promising youngster on the team.
Ishan has scored 4 half centuries in the last four matches and made 81 runs out of 82 balls against Pakistan, coming in at no. 5, when India was down with four wickets at only 66 runs. But sadly, Rahul is playing the villain here too for being the selector’s first choice to bat at no. 5 which was his original position. Because of Rahul’s higher contribution in the middle-order as a veteran, Ishan is most likely going to be the 1st choice for wicket keeper.
India’s Game Plan & Challenges for the ICC Men’s World Cup 2023
Home Ground Benefitting the Batsmen
The final squad of 15 members of the Indian team for the ODI world cup makes it easy to guess that Team India will bet in the game with its staggering batting line-up. It was more evident from their 1st match against Pakistan in the running Asia Cup tournament where they chose a squad with 8 batsmen.
There are 3 all-rounders in the final squad of the world cup team. This is another indication that the middle-order of the batting department is properly taken care of and there are some players with batting talent even in the lower order. Umran Malik, Prasidh Krishan and Yuzvendra Chahal have been dropped out of the team despite being specialist ballers in order to include more batting talent in the team.
‘The 50-over format is different, especially where you play 9 league games and semifinals and finals- 11 games. There is always a chance for you to make a comeback. It gives you more time to think about strategy and what you’re going to execute as a team. Yes, the ODIs do give you a little more breathing space’, Captain Rohit Sharma explained their logic for going for more all-rounders instead of specialist ballers.
Clearly, the Indian team for the world cup cricket is all determined to make the best of the home conditions- the weather, the pitch, the field- all are very much familiar to the players. These will surely play an advantage to Team India. That’s why, while the batting line-up was a top priority in selecting the team, a spin-balling battalion with spinners like Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav have been included.
The Challenge Remains Both Outside and Inside the Team
Now here is an interesting point to be noted- with announcing the final team list for the world cup tournament of 2023, Indian selectors have given it out to the other countries that the pitches are more likely going to be batting and spin balling friendly. Although the western teams are filled with more pacers, there are Asian teams who are equally familiar with the condition and find it easy to play spin.
Another point to be kept in mind here is that India needs to be consistent with their performance and the entire team must put in efforts to hoist the trophy or else, one or two superstar performances will go down in history only as records, but will be in vain like the previous time.
In all the 15 ODI matches Team India has played in 2023, till date, they won in 10 of those matches and lost in 3 matches only. They lost to Australia twice this very year. Other than that, they fought against every team with great consistency and determination. The newly selected world cup team also has that type of balance between the combination of players.
India’s Biggest Rivals in the World Cup
India has lost 82 times in the 146 ODI matches played against Australia till date. Of these, 12 matches were played in the world cup where Australia beat India 8 times. This year, Team India will open its World Cup campaign against Australia on October 8.
India’s rivalry with Pakistan doesn’t need any further emphasis. No matter how weak or strong either of the teams is, the competition is always nail biting. In the history of 132 ODI matches played between these two teams, Pakistan has won 73 matches and India has won 55 matches.
India’s next big competition in the ODI world cup tournament will be against New Zealand. In the history of ODI rivalry between these two teams, a total 116 matches have been played of which India beat New Zealand in 58 matches. Moreover, New Zealand is currently playing against England which is surely going to hone the team’s already much competitive temperament.
However, the catch here is, these two teams have faced each other 7 times in ICC Men’s World Cup ODI and India won in all these 7 matches. Naturally, these two teams have one more mission in the world cup other than the championship itself- defeating each other!
Ravi Shastri on the Indian Squad for ICC World Cup 2023
The former Indian coach and a key player in the 1983 Indian World Cup team, Ravi Shastri, has expressed his total satisfaction and support for the final team of 15 members for this year’s world cup tournament. He wrote in X (former twitter), ‘Excellent team picked. Come on Guys get out there and kick some butt. Win. Lose. Part and Parcel. Bottom line. ENJOY. Respect.’.
He suggested that Axar Patel and Shardul Thakur be part of the team in order to bring in that desired balance in the team. He also suggested that Sanju Samson should be there to be kept on standby in case a necessity occurs out of an injury or so.
ICC Men’s World Cup- be that ODI or T20- has always been the center of attention and craze among the cricket lovers from all over the world. In the Asian region, perhaps, the craze is observed a little more than that in the western regions. Find out here where you can watch the matches of this tournament.
When it comes to the India National Cricket team playing in the tournament, that becomes a show of more than just cricket. Billions of dollars of business get involved in the display of a game that the people of this country worship. All eyes are now on this new 15-member team that will take the journey to championship ahead coming this October.