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CWC 2023: Who would India like to go for? A Race between Sanju & Kishan, Kuldeep & Chahal?

Updated: Aug 3, 2023

ICC Cricket World Cup 2023: Who would India like to go for? A Race between Sanju Samson & Ishan Kishan, Kuldeep Yadav & Yuzvendra Chahal?

CWC 2023: Kuldeep Yadav or Yuzvendra Chahal who would India go ahead in Cricket World Cup 2023? | Walking wicket (Images_ ©ICC_Twitter)
Kuldeep or Chahal who would India go ahead in CWC 2023? (Images: ©ICC/Twitter)

With the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 just a couple of months away, the race for getting the right players has heated up. India are also in a hurry and hence, coach Rahul Dravid has been experimenting with various options before finalising the squad.

There are few berths left where it is a direct face-off between players. For example, Sanju Samson and Ishan Kishan are competing to book a slot in the World Cup. And the same goes for Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal.

So, let’s analyse the chances of these two sets of players for making it to the 2023 World Cup squad.

Sanju Samson vs Ishan Kishan

Both are second-choice keeper-batters after KL Rahul, who is recovering from surgery. If Rahul is fit, he will be given the keeper-batter slot in the World Cup playing XI. Rahul has also done well in the middle order and has improved his keeping. If Rahul is not fit to play the World Cup, and with Rishabh Pant still recovering post his car accident, Samson and Kishan will be in a direct face-off for the World Cup slot.

Let’s see Kishan-Samson chances of playing in the World Cup

If Rahul is fit, he will be the first-choice keeper-batter in the middle order. However, India may look for a backup for Rahul in the squad. In that case, only one slot opens up.

Samson can take Rahul’s place in the middle order and do the finishing role for the team. Samson can also play at no. 3 and be a like-for-like replacement for Virat Kohli. He can even open the batting. So, Samson can be used as a floater even if Rahul is playing, and there is an extra batter needed. Hence, Samson’s stakes are high when it comes to sealing the World Cup squad berth.

In the case of Kishan, the only slot he can fit in is as an opener. But India have a settled opening pair in Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill followed up by Kohli. Being a left-handed batter, Kishan has the advantage as India is top-heavy with right-handed batters. But if Rahul is fit, Kishan will just be a passenger in the squad if the latter is selected in the World Cup squad.

Hence, in comparison to Kishan who can be used just in a fixed role of an opener, Samson can play the floater whether Rahul is in the XI or not.

Both Samson and Kishan have done well in the limited opportunities they have played in ODIs. Hence, there is little to distinguish between the two.

Here’s how the two stand out in ODIs.






Sanju Samson





Ishan Kishan





Eventually, it will boil down to the utility of these two players, and the different options they offer in terms of batting slots irrespective of whether Rahul is available or not.

Kuldeep Yadav vs Yuzvendra Chahal

There was a time when India preferred two wrist spinners - Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal - regularly in their ODI set-up. And the two wrist spinners did well in tandem. But having two wrist spinners who could not be counted to score a few runs in the ODI set-up will be a luxury. Hence, India will go with the combination of all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and one of the wrist spinners in Kuldeep or Chahal. Chahal may still make it to the squad, but going by the current flavour of the season Kuldeep Yadav stands a strong chance to be part of the playing XI in the World Cup.

Here’s how the two stand out in ODIs.







Yuzvendra Chahal






Kuldeep Yadav






Kuldeep is the preferred one over Chahal

Going by the recent team combination, Kuldeep has played 10 ODIs in 2023, bagging 20 wickets with the best bowling figures of 4/6. On the other hand, Chahal has played just 2 ODIs bagging 3 wickets this year. It is understood that the team management banks on Kuldeep as their first-choice spinner.

Kuldeep offers better variations

It’s rare to find left-arm wrist spinners on the international stage. Hence, Kuldeep, being a Chinaman bowler, adds more variety to the attack, and can be a real threat to the opposition. Kuldeep has also improved his bowling, adding more variations, a slight pace, and the natural spin threat he poses as a Chinaman bowler.

Chahal too is a strike bowler but can be expensive at times. He might get selected in the World Cup squad, but his best chance of playing in the XI is if and when Kuldeep is not available or injured.

The ICC World Cup 2023 will kick off on October 5 with a game between England and New Zealand in Ahmedabad. India will play their first game against Australia on October 8 in Chennai.


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