Team India announced their squad for the
2023 ODI World Cup next month, with Tilak Varma and Prasidh Krishna the only
members of the Asia Cup contingent to miss out on the final cut, along with
reserve player Sanju Samson. KL Rahul has been included in the final 15-man
squad announced by Rohit Sharma and chief selector Ajit Agarkar on Tuesday
despite the wicket-keeper not playing any competitive cricket since his injury
at the IPL in May.
Rahul missed India’s opening two Asia Cup
games due to a niggle unrelated to his original injury but has joined the side
from the Super Four stage after clearing a fitness test at the NCA in
Bangalore. The 31-year-old has been amongst India’s top performers in ODIs over
the last 18 months, but will compete with Ishan Kishan for the first-choice
wicket-keeper role, who impressed in the middle order in India’s Asia Cup curtain
raiser against Pakistan, scoring his fourth consecutive fifty in the format.
Joining Rahul and Kishan in the squad in
the batting department are first-choice openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill,
Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, and Suryakumar Yadav. Yadav’s place in the final
list was under contention due to his poor run of form in the 50-over format,
but the team management have persisted with the number-one ranked T20I batter
as the backup middle-order option.
Amongst the bowlers, Jasprit Bumrah leads
the pace attack alongside Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami, Hardik Pandya, and
Shardul Thakur. Speaking at the squad announcement press conference, Rohit
Sharma expressed the importance of the batting depth offered by Thakur at
number eight, indicating that the all-rounder could get the nod in the first XI
as the third seamer.
Kuldeep Yadav is the sole wrist-spinner
selected in the final 15, leaving Yuzvendra Chahal on the side-lines for
another major tournament, while Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel are the two spin-bowling
all-rounders in the squad.
Team India can change their 15-man squad
for the World Cup until September 28, giving the Men in Blue the remainder of
the Asia Cup and three more ODIs against Australia to test their players before
the quadrennial tournament begins on October 5.