Rahul, SKY make the cut for India’s World Cup Squad

Rahul, SKY make the cut for India’s World Cup Squad

Kolkata, India. 06th July, 2023. general view of the World Cup Cricket trophy during the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Trophy Tour at a school. on July 6, 2023 in Kolkata, India. (Credit Image: © Dipa Chakraborty/eyepix via ZUMA Press Wire) EDITORIAL USAGE

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.

Full Squad: Rohit Sharma (c), Hardik Pandya (vc), Virat Kohli, Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan (wk), KL Rahul (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami