India is gearing up to host the 50-over Cricket World Cup in October, 2023. As every other Indian cricket fan, my mind goes back to the summer of 2011. Ravi Shastri screaming on the mic “Dhoni finishes off in style” still echoes in our heart. The hope and expectations from every Indian fan at every ICC event is for the Indian team to lift the trophy. The world cup squad for the 50 over 2023 Men’s Cricket World Cup has been announced. In this article, let us dig a little deeper into our squad and see if they can repeat the 2011 Magical performance.
India has a solid top order loaded with experience. The return of Bumrah is a gift and together with Siraj, pace department is stocked. Spinners especially Kuldeep is in top form. Moreover, playing in home conditions should help the batters and bowler. But, When Rohit Sharma was questioned in the press conference about the lack of all rounders in the team. His response was very casual, “We have to play with who we got. May be myself or Virat can bowl.” This is a statement of concern. Is the team good enough to win the world cup especially with some unanswered questions.
The Number 4 Slot
An issue that was there in 2019 WC and is still open. Who is going to play at Number 4? It highly looks like it is going to be Shreyas. But he is coming back from a injury. His weakness with short ball is well documented and he will be targeted with short ball barrage. Meanwhile, Suryakumar looks out of sorts and has not clicked in the limited opportunities he has got. KL Rahul could be another option but he too is coming back from an injury and not someone that I would consider.
The Keeper Conundrum
Who is the best person to don the gloves? Rishab Pant’s injury came at the worst possible time for team India. First, Rahul is a decent keeper but blows hot or cold with the bat. Seocond, Ishan though inexperienced in ODIs is good keeper and a terrific striker of the ball. Also, he brings that much needed left hander in the batting department. But he has been playing as an opener and it’s hard to displace the current openers, Rohit and Subhman. Can he play down the order? Does he possess the much needed temperament to play in the middle order?
Batters Who Bowl
Another issue that has continued from 2019 world cup. Evidently, India has to play with 4 bowlers and 2 all rounders in Ravi Jadeja and Hardik Pandya. Even if one bowler has a bad day, it looks like tough day in the office for bowlers. Looking back the 2011 side, 8 out of 11 could bowl which gave the captain some great options. Sachin, Virender, Suresh Raina and Yuvi all them chipped in. Did India miss a trick here by not being strategic and lacking a long term vision?
Is it too One Dimensional
The pace attack and the batting order, when Rahul and Shreyas play, will look too one dimensional. The top order will have no left handed batters to provide that left right combo to disturb bowler’s line and length. Also, the pace bowling department has no left arm fast bowlers. Why did India not take Arshdeep? Or failed to groom a good left arm fast bowler after Zaheer Khan would remain mystery. Besides, why have both Jadeja and Axar who are very similar? I would have gone with Yuzi Chahal to have a variation in the side. Moreover, The World Cup is in India so bringing a replacement isn’t all that difficult.
But we have to play with who we have and this what my playing XI would be for the first few games.
- Rohit (C)
- Ishan (WK)
- R Jadeja