The World Cup is edging ever closer, with the biggest competition in 50-over cricket likely to bring another festival of six-hitting, wicket-taking, and stunning moments between the start of the tournament on October 5 and the final on November 19.
The tournament will see the
10 best nations in world cricket coming together and thrown into one big group. Each team will play the other nine sides, with this seeing the top four teams go through to the semi-finals.
As hosts, India comes into the tournament with a certain type of pressure on them. This, in conjunction with the fact that they are the
favourites with bookmakers to win the competition, means that the expectation on them will be massive.
Ahead of the competition, India’s squad selection has come under a lot of scrutiny, as have all the other nations. However, the major question sits over who will make the starting XI.
There are one or two spots that seem nailed on, but with so much talent currently available to the Indian selection team, who will get the chance to represent India at their own World Cup in 2023 as part of
their best XI?
Rohit Sharma (Captain) and Shubman Gill
The likelihood of Rohit Sharma having a place at the World Cup is very high, with the captain a sublime player at the top of the order.
Sharma has been a champion player for India for years, and his ability to score quickly or grind out runs will be invaluable across the tournament. With 648 runs and the top scorer medal at the 2019 World Cup, Sharma will be a big player for India.
Shubman Gill is the man likely to partner Sharma at the top of the order despite his inconsistent performances of late. Against the West Indies, Gill recorded a single half-century across the five shorter format matches.
Gill is still young and so will suffer from inconsistency, but the home side will hope his blips in batting have come and gone now, and that he will get back to runs scoring again.
Virat Kohli, Sanju Samson, Hardik Pandya and Ishan Kishan
The middle order for India has to fire at this World Cup. Question marks have hung over the Indian batting lineup not being particularly deep, and it means that if the top six fall early, who will score the runs for the side?
India’s best player in the side Virat Kohli is a must-have despite not being in scintillating form in recent years.
However, years of experience in the IPL along with being a part of the victorious Indian side of 2011 will be a huge help to the younger players, whereas Kohli is one of the most fluent and destructive batters of his day.
DID YOU KNOW? “In 2023 the league sold its media rights for the period of 2023–2027 for US$ 6.4 billion to Viacom18 and Star Sports, making the IPL’s value per match $13.4 million. As of 2023, there have been sixteen seasons of the tournament.” ~ Wikipedia
The question of where the likes of Sanju Samson and Hardik Pandya play is a big talking point right now, especially if the likes of KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer do not make the squad.
Samson is not the most consistent batsman, which does not bode well for the perceived weakness in India’s middle order.
Pandya has had to deal with his fair share of injuries since the 2019 World Cup, However, his ability to score runs and take wickets makes him a pivotal player if fit.
Whereas neither is assured of their place in the team, we believe they could prove vital additions to the side if included.
Meanwhile, the question marks that hang over the fitness of KL Rahul means we have sided with Ishan Kishan as the man to take the gloves. He may not appear as low down as number six having played across the top order, he is the best bet for India when the bets are on scoring runs and making a telling contribution with the gloves.
Ultimately, the fitness of certain players will have a big impact on who makes up the middle order and what positions they play.
Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah
The bowling options for India are sublime, and if the batting does not do the job, they can still lean on a bowling attack that can utilize spin and pace.
As another all-rounder, Ravindra Jadeja is very likely to feature at the World Cup as he can turn the game with explosive hitting or supreme spin bowling.
Kuldeep Yadav is another excellent spinner that can complement Jadeja well as he is a proven wicket-taking option alongside being a bowler that can hold up an end if needs be.
Jasprit Bumrah came out of the 2019 World Cup as the leading wicket-taker with 18 scalps, he has the ability to keep overs at the death tight, which is so necessary. His express pace scares batters.
DID YOU KNOW? “The total attendance throughout the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup was 752,000 .
Mohammed Shami is one of those players that quietly goes about their business and plays at a high level every time he is thrown the ball. Shami is the perfect counterpart to Bumrah, with his accurate and probing bowling proving too much for many batsmen.
Mohammed Siraj is the final part of the trio of pace bowlers that India can bring to the party, with his wicket-taking something that will likely prove vital.
While we are not sure of the exact order the bowlers will play, we feel this is India’s best bowling lineup and will cause any opposition problems.