The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday, unveiled a 15-member squad for the forthcoming ICC Men’s ODI World Cup 2023, scheduled to commence on October 5.
India’s all-format captain Rohit Sharma will lead the hosts in the mega-event, while Hardik Pandya will serve as his deputy.
Top-order batter KL Rahul is included in the World Cup squad after passing a fitness assessment at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru on September 4.
He is expected to join the Indian squad in Sri Lanka to participate in the Super 4s stage of the ongoing Asia Cup 2023 after being ruled out of the group-stage matches.
“We had a couple of fitness issues that we had to look at, but all three [Rahul, Jasprit Bumrah and Shreyas Iyer], who had long-term injuries have come through,” India’s chief selector Ajit Agarkar said in a press conference.
“KL is looking good. We feel this gives us the best balance to try and do well. With KL, he was part of the camp in Bangalore, he looked really good there, has got over his niggle. He played a couple of games over the last two days.
“I think he kept for 50 overs and batted for around 50 overs too, so he looks good and we’re happy to have him.”
Squad: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan, KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya (Vice-captain), Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav#TeamIndia | #CWC23
— BCCI (@BCCI) September 5, 2023
Ishan Kishan who helped India recover with a gusty 82 against Pakistan in the rain-affected Asia Cup match has managed to retain his place in the World Cup squad as the second wicketkeeper alongside KL Rahul.
Meanwhile, young middle-order batter Tilak Varma and fast bowler Prasidh Krishna, who are part of Asia Cup’s 17-member squad along with travelling reserve Sanju Samson failed to make it into the 15-member squad for the World Cup.
There are no changes in the bowling department as Jasprit Bumrah will continue to lead India’s pace attack, featuring Mohammed Siraj and Mohammed Shami, as well as fast-bowling allrounders Hardik Pandya and Shardul Thakur.
Meanwhile, the squad features three left-arm spinners, including wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav and all-rounders Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel.
Chief selector Ajit Agarkar showed faith in the spin options India have despite the absence of a specialist offspinner.
“Clearly there will be discussions given we have both Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel who spin the ball into left-handers,” Agarkar said.
“[But] both give us depth in batting. Kuldeep takes the ball away. In 50 overs cricket, perhaps you would ideally want an offspinner but this gives us the best balance.
“Seamers tend to bowl a lot more in ODIs as compared to T20 cricket, and perhaps you’re a little more under pressure if you don’t have an offie [offspinner], so we’re happy with the guys we have.”
Although the deadline for submitting the World Cup squad to the International Cricket Council (ICC) is September 5, teams can still make changes until September 28 without requiring ICC approval.
After the cut-off date, any changes to the squad will be subjected to the approval of the ICC.
India will kick off their World Cup campaign against Australia on October 8 in Chennai.
India’s World Cup squad
Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya (vc), Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah.