In a move that's set to electrify cricket fans worldwide, India is gearing up to host the colossal sports spectacle – the ODI World Cup 2023. The anticipation is palpable, as former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly revealed his handpicked squad for the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023.
Ganguly's strategy emphasizes a formidable batting lineup for the Indian team. At the helm in the top order, we find the likes of Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, and Ishan Kishan. The middle order boasts the experience of Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, and Suryakumar Yadav.
Notably, KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer, two players recovering from recent injuries, have earned their spots in this elite lineup. Their match fitness, however, remains to be proven.
Taking on the role of vice-captain is the explosive all-rounder Hardik Pandya. The spin department sees the inclusion of Ravindra Jadeja and Akshar Patel, with Kuldeep Yadav representing the squad as the sole pure spinner.
Sourav Ganguly names World Cup 2023 backup players
Interestingly, Ganguly's selection does have a contingency plan. In his own words, “If one of the middle-order batters gets unfit, then Tilak Varma [would come in]; if one of the fast bowlers gets unfit; then Prasidh Krishna; if one of the spinners gets unfit, then Yuzvendra Chahal.”
Ganguly's unwavering faith in wrist spinners shone through as he emphasized, “I'll always pick Chahal. I'll always pick wrist spinners.” This bold approach underscores the need for youth and experience, combining the flamboyance and fearlessness of youth with seasoned campaigners like Rohit, Virat, Rahul, Jadeja, and Pandya.
“The team is exceptionally strong,” Ganguly asserts, highlighting the return of Jasprit Bumrah, which bolsters the bowling attack. With the likes of Shami, Bumrah, and Siraj in the fast bowling lineup, India boasts an enviable arsenal. Jadeja's spin and the wrist-spinning prowess further fortify their bowling options.
The countdown to cricket's grandest event has begun, with the World Cup set to start on Thursday, 5 October.
The opening match will see a rematch of the 2019 final between England and New Zealand, at the iconic Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
The excitement reaches its zenith on Sunday, 19 November, when the final showdown takes place at the same venue.
Cricket enthusiasts also eagerly anticipate the clash between arch-rivals India and Pakistan, originally scheduled for Sunday, 15 October. However, the battle has been moved a day earlier to Saturday, 14 October, still at the hallowed grounds of the Narendra Modi Stadium.
As Sourav Ganguly unveiled his handpicked warriors for this cricketing spectacle, the world waits with bated breath to witness the drama, the heroics, and the glory that the ODI World Cup 2023 promises to deliver.