The senior men’s selection committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), under the leadership of Ajit Agarkar, has officially announced the Indian squad for the upcoming ICC Men’s ODI World Cup, which is scheduled to kick off on October 5 in India. Regrettably, three notable players, namely Sanju Samson, Tilak Varma, and Prasidh Krishna, who are currently part of the team traveling to Sri Lanka for the Asia Cup, have been excluded from the World Cup squad. On a positive note, KL Rahul, who has been undergoing rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru, has been declared fit and will be a valuable addition to the 15-man squad for this highly anticipated tournament.
Leading the way as openers for Team India in the World Cup are Rohit Sharma, who assumes the role of captain, and Shubman Gill. The selection of these two talented batsmen doesn’t come as a surprise, given their recent outstanding performance in a resounding 10-wicket victory over Nepal in Kandy. Both Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill have demonstrated their prowess with double centuries in the ODI format, making them formidable contenders to provide the team with strong starts throughout the competition.
In the middle-order, we find the ever-reliable Virat Kohli, an unquestionable selection. However, there were some uncertainties surrounding the inclusion of Shreyas Iyer and Suryakumar Yadav. Iyer, recently returning from a back injury that sidelined him since March, made a modest comeback with a 14-run performance against Pakistan. He will need to regain his form and score big ahead of the World Cup. On the other hand, Suryakumar Yadav, despite some underwhelming performances in 50-overs cricket, brings a unique X-factor to the team, securing his spot in the squad.
Ishan Kishan, who impressed with an 82-run knock under pressure against Pakistan, has made a strong case for his inclusion. The left-handed batsman has notched up four consecutive half-centuries in the ODI format, potentially competing for a place in the starting XI with either Rahul or Iyer. KL Rahul, boasting seven half-centuries and a century in his last 16 innings at No. 5 since 2020, brings balance and tremendous game awareness to the middle-order. However, his form and rhythm will be closely monitored after a lengthy injury layoff.
The all-rounder category holds some intriguing surprises. Shardul Thakur has secured a spot in the squad due to his superior batting skills, bolstering the team’s lineup at the No. 8 position. Axar Patel also finds his place due to his all-round abilities, potentially providing an additional spin option when conditions demand it. Hardik Pandya assumes the role of vice-captain, adding experience and versatility to the squad.
Kuldeep Yadav stands as the sole specialist spinner in the squad, earning his place through impressive recent performances. His leg-break skills will be crucial for Team India, especially in finding regular breakthroughs during the middle-overs.
The fast bowling unit will be led by Jasprit Bumrah, with Mohammad Siraj complementing him in the playing XI. At No. 4, Siraj holds the highest ranking among Indian pacers in the ICC Men’s ODI Bowling rankings. Additionally, Mohammad Shami is set to represent India in an ODI World Cup for the third consecutive time, further strengthening the fast-bowling department.