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Indian squad for the 2023 World Cup

ODI cricket has been in the backseat for past three years, majorly because of COVID. But, also with consecutive T20 World Cups stealing the headlines. However, the 50-over format is again back in the spotlight with ODI World Cup just around the corner.

India is one of the favorites for the tournament as they are the hosts. Rohit Sharma led time would like to repeat the heroics of Dhoni11 of 2011. Here is a detailed analysis of the Indian squad to see how they would weigh against the top teams of the world at the marquee event.

Top Order

Experienced Seniors: Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, and Rohit Sharma

Although they had only appeared together in twelve of the 42 ODIs from the previous World Cup, the combination of Rohit, Shikhar, and Kohli was the lynchpin of India’s batting order. In the Powerplay before the previous World Cup round, India was one of the more cautious batting teams, scoring 4.89 runs in the first 10 overs.

The conservative strategy may not be fully outdated given two factors: the newest stock of white Kookaburra cricket balls has already been swinging significantly upfront in the previous 18 months or more, as indicated by teams batting 29.14 or 28.05 during the first 10 overs of ODI series in 2021 as well as 2022, respectively – the 2 years with the lower averages after 2010. We may anticipate that the pitches for the World Cup the following year will give an opportunity to the bowlers later on, if prior ICC events are anything to take notes from.

Rohit and Kohli - the backbone of Indian batting

Dhawan has played in the majority of India’s ODIs since the 2019 World Cup (34). However, a century has escaped him during this time. And he is the only batsman with a strike rate below 90 among those with at least 10 games (82.43).

Dhawan’s strike rate dips to below 76 in the first 10 overs. Which is poor compared to that of Rohit (88.18), Shubman Gill (90.33), and Prithvi Shaw (116.78). Although Prithvi Shaw has accumulated a ton of runs on the national circuit with an astounding strike rate. India doesn’t need to look further than Shaw if they require a more aggressive approach upfront. Gill has evolved as the top reserve option for anyone of the top 3 spots. Gill had a great series against the kiwis where he scored a double century alongside a hundred. Seems like that he has secured a World Cup berth.

Middle Order

Players: Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav & KL Rahul

If India’s weak spot in the previous World Cup was indeed an absent middle order, they have several problems this time around too. With an average of 50.75 and a strike rate of 98.54 over the last 3 years, Shreyas Iyer has indeed been India’s middle-order batting staple. Many thought he might have been the no. 4 versus England in 2019.

Despite his struggles with the short ball, the middle order benefits from his reliability (13 fifty-plus runs in 27 games), attacking game versus spin (SR 104.22), plus his tendency to ramp up at the end (SR 141.60). Iyer, though, has previously been in the running for multiple World Cups across formats, was unable to secure a position.

Iyer and Rahul

KL Rahul began out as the #4 in the last World Cup, but due to Dhawan’s injury. He was moved up the lineup in the midst of the competition. Since then, the plot has stayed the same as he has alternated between the top and middle orders based on Rohit and Dhawan’s availability. He has excelled in his few opportunities to bat in the middle order. Averaging 67 including two centuries and a striking rate of 109.23. However, it’s important to note that his strike rate in death overs was 163.50. Pant, however might just miss out the World Cup because of the car accident. Only time will tell whether he is available for the mega event or not. Suryakumar Yadav will replace him and given the form he is in, it might turn out good for India.

All-rounders

Players: Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja

Ever since the 2019 World Cup in England, Hardik and Jadeja both have dramatically increased their batting averages, and they can easily share 12 to 15 overs on any given day. Since those two take up two spots in the top 7. Rohit has access to ample bowling alternatives without sacrificing any of the batting strength.

The two front-runners to replace Jadeja are Axar Patel and Washington Sundar. Both of whom are more bowling-oriented alternatives. Whilst Shahbaz Ahmed provides more identical dynamics to Jadeja.

Pandya hitting one over long off

Spinners

Key Players: Yuzvendra Chahal & Kuldeep Yadav

Prior to the previous World Cup, India’s primary middle-overs striking weapon was the pair of spinners known as “Kul-Cha,” but since then, their reputations have varied greatly. Chahal could perhaps start as the team’s lead spinner because he had a successful 2022 that included several match-winning spells. However, pairing Chahal with Jadeja would prevent India from having a spinner who can take over away from left-hand batsmen unless Hooda or Sundar is able to find a place in their top seven.

Chahal celeberating a wicket

Currently, as was the case during the most recent T20 World Cup, the preference has been for spinners who could also bat, and the forthcoming series in Bangladesh will not have a wrist spinner too. However, as they have learned the hard way in the T20 World Cup, finger spinners may find it challenging to contain advanced batters in middle overs, especially as there is typically one less boundary rider in the middle overs, leaving one open portion of the field exposed.

Jasprit Bumrah

Seamers

Star Players: Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami & Prasidh Krishna

India has a wide variety of alternatives in this particular field. Since Bumrah is a guaranteed starter, numerous different bowlers in the lineup could be used to their fullest potential in the stages where they excel. After England in 2019, their bowling attack suffered with the new ball for a while.

But, this year it has improved drastically. With the rise of Siraj, who has taken 12 wickets at an ER of 3.85 in Powerplays throughout 2022.

Deepak Chahar could benefit from India’s preference for new ball wickets. But his fitness has recently been an issue. So, the management would prefer for him to have more experience before putting him in. For a bowling squad that provides nothing else down the order. Chahar is special in considering he is the lone seam bowler with the ability to bat.

Prasidh Krishna has shown promise in his brief ODI tenure so far. Thanks to his ability to smash powerful lengths at a great pace, which provides a distinct attack style as a middle-overs warrior. Regardless of the formats,

Mohammed Shami has emerged as a World Cup expert for India and a true wicket-taker in the 50-over format. Even though his records in the sub-continent in that format are subpar relative to his total stats.

What do you think about the Indian squad, is it balanced or is there room for improvement. Let us know in the comment section below.

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