The Indian cricket team has officially announced its 15-man 2023 World Cup squad that will be led by Rohit Sharma, with Hardik Pandya as his deputy.
There have been a number of surprise inclusions and exclusions, the most notable being the selection of Suryakumar Yadav, a renowned T20I powerhouse, who has successfully retained his place despite facing stiff competition.
The return of KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer to the 50-over setup following their recoveries from long-term injuries adds strength to the middle-order. With the duo being sure picks, there was a three-way contest between Suryakumar, newcomer Tilak Varma, and the versatile wicketkeeper-batter Sanju Samson to be the backup middle-order batter. Ultimately, the 32-year-old Suryakumar emerged victorious, holding on despite a dismal ODI record.
Suryakumar ranked as the world's top T20I batsman, has encountered difficulties in replicating his 20-over success in the ODI format. His recent ODI performances have lacked the explosive impact seen in his T20 outings, with his last fifty coming after a drought spanning 18 innings.
After 26 ODIs, he averages a poor 24.33, with a high score of 64. Recently, he made news for registering three consecutive golden ducks against Australia in the ODI series in March this year.
Concerns regarding Rahul's inclusion, who is currently out injured due to a niggle, were put to rest as he secured his spot in the World Cup squad. Despite not playing in the ongoing Asia Cup, the 31-year-old proved his fitness through batting and keeping drills while undergoing rehabilitation at the NCA, and his recent injury is not a matter of huge concern to the board, according to chief selector Ajit Agarkar.
The final squad largely adheres to expectations, with notable omissions including Varma, Samson, and Prasidh Krishna, who were part of the squad that traveled to Sri Lanka for the ongoing Asia Cup.
Jasprit Bumrah joins the fast-bowling ranks alongside Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, and Shardul Thakur, with all-rounder Hardik Pandya adding depth to the batting order. With India's limited-overs batting depth being a point of concern, Shardul Thakur's inclusion over Prasidh Krishna, who recently returned from a back surgery, in the final 15 of the 2023 World Cup squad appears to be a strategic decision.
In the spin department, Yuzvendra Chahal remains sidelined, having been left out of the Asia Cup squad as well. Kuldeep Yadav has been chosen as the solitary wrist spinner in the World Cup squad, while the spin options are rounded off by the experienced duo of Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel.
Ishan Kishan, who played a pivotal role by scoring a crucial half-century against Pakistan in the opening fixture of the Asia Cup, retains his place as the backup wicketkeeper-batsman in the squad.
All teams will have till September 28 to make changes in the 2023 World Cup squad, following which every alteration will have to pass through the ICC.
India's 15-member 2023 World Cup squad
Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj.