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Monday, July 22, 2024

World Cup India Squad

The Board of Control for Cricket in India has announced India's 15-man squad for the ICC World Cup 2023 slated to begin on October 5. The squad, which was announced by BCCI chief selector Ajit Agarkar and captain Rohit Sharma at Earl's Regency in Kandy, was bereft of any surprises as KL Rahul was included after being declared fit by the National Cricket Academy (NCA). Rahul is expected to join the rest of the Indian players in Sri Lanka for the Super 4 stage of Asia Cup 2023. Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav reclaimed their places while Sanju Samson, who was a reserve in India's Asia Cup squad, has been left out.

This marks the second time in two years that Samson has come perilously close to securing a World Cup berth but fallen short. Last year, he was in the same space, as despite a three-way fight for the wicketkeeper slot, India preferred Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik over him for the T20 World Cup. And roughly 10 months later, nothing has changed, with Samson falling behind in the pecking order to an emerging youngster in Ishan and a fit-again Rahul.

The remaining slots in the squad were relatively straightforward to fill. Rohit will lead the team, and it will feature the star power of Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, and Shubman Gill. Among fast bowlers, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, and Mohammed Siraj have all secured their places while medium pacer Shardul Thakur was preferred because of his ability to strengthen the lower order.

Unfortunately, Prasidh Krishna, who recently returned from a lengthy injury layoff and earned a spot in India's Asia Cup squad, did not make the cut, and neither did the promising young talent Tilak Varma. India's middle order will be anchored by Rahul and Shreyas Iyer, with SKY as a backup option. Kuldeep Yadav has been included as the sole specialist spinner in the squad, indicating that the management may have somewhat lost faith in Yuzvendra Chahal after all. There was no space for off-spinner R Ashwin too, which means India will have only three spin-bowling options in Kuldeep, Jadeja and Axar Patel.

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