India may have stumbled at the final hurdle, but the ICC Men's ODI World Cup was a great campaign for the two-time winners and they gained many things from this, says former India star Suresh Raina.
Cleared by the BCCI’s medical team, KL Rahul is set to be included in India’s 15-member squad for the upcoming 2023 ICC World Cup even as the axe is likely to fall on Sanju Samson, who was tipped as the back-up wicket keeper if the former failed to make a comeback on time.
Rahul had undergone surgery on his right thigh and has been out for the past three and half months. He is likely to feature in a few games of the Asia Cup and the subsequent three-match ODI series against the Australians just before the start of the World Cup.
According to sources in the cricket board, Samson who is currently with the Indian team as a stand-by for the Asia Cup, and two other members of the current Asia Cup team (Tilak Varma and Prasidh Krishna) have been left out of the World Cup squad.
The BCCI’s insider revealed that chief selector Ajit Agarkar met with skipper Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid in Pallekele on Saturday after India’s match against Pakistan was washed out after the first innings.
Barring the exclusion of the trio, the team is on expected lines with Rohit Sharma leading the outfit, comprising the likes of Virat Kohli, Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, and Ishan Kishan handling the top order batting responsibilities. Suryakumar Yadav, who has blown hot and cold in the 50-over format has also been picked to add more firepower in the middle order.
Bumrah to lead pace attack
Jasprit Bumrah will lead the pace battery in the company of Md Shami and Md Siraj, while all-rounders Hardik Pandya and Shardul Thakur have been included to add depth in the lower order batting as well.
Left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav is expected to lead the spin attack with fellow left-arm all-rounders Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel. Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, however, could not find a place in the squad as the selectors decided to go in with Jadeja and Patel’s batting abilities.
The BCCI had a deadline of September 5 to submit its final World Cup squad to the International Cricket Council (ICC) and once Rahul was cleared by the medical committee on Saturday, the selectors decided to prepone the meeting by a day.
While announcing the Asia Cup team in New Delhi last month, Agarkar had already indicated that the World Cup squad will be more on the lines of the current team in Sri Lanka, and as expected there are no surprise selections for the showpiece event starting October 5.
India’s tentative World Cup 2023 squad: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya (Vice-Captain), Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, KL Rahul (WK), Shubman Gill, Axar Patel, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishan Kishan (WK), Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammad Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah