Cricket World Cup 2023: India on the path to make history again. India look hot favorite in World Cup 2023, here is why.
The last time India won a 50-over World Cup was back in the 2011 edition held incidentally in Asia (India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh). This time as well, there are huge expectations from the The Men in Blue to once again win in it on the home turf.
While India is strong at home, it is definitely going to be a challenging tournament for them - not only because of several other equally strong teams in the fray but also with their recent track record in ICC tournaments.
The Men in Blue haven’t won any World Cup post 2011 and an ICC tournament in general since the 2013 Champions Trophy. In the last decade, India never managed to get their hands on the covered ICC titles in any of the three formats - despite coming close on many occasions.
When it comes to the World Cups, India reached the Semi-finals in 2015 and 2019 editions, but failed to make a place in the finals. In both these tournaments, India were dominant in the group stages, but when it came to the knockouts and crunch moments, the team faltered.
While India lost to Australia in the semi-final clash in WC 2015, New Zealand crushed India’s hopes in the 2019 tourney. So the team under Rohit Sharma will look to make things right this time around - where they play hosts to the other 9 teams.
Strength of Team India
Top 6 in great batting form as are Reserves
Traditionally , India have been a batter-dominated team with a lot of prolific players at their disposal. Undoubtedly, the batters once again are the core strength of the India side which is going in this edition of the World Cup.
Openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill are in great batting form, which is a good sign for the team. Shubman has shown tremendous character and demonstrated his penchant for occupying the crease for a long time and scoring big. He is the leading run scorer in the ODI format for this year, having amassed 1230 runs at a staggering average of 72.30 with 5 centuries in 20 innings. His opening partner and skipper Rohit had a great Asia Cup - both as a leader and a batter. Recently, he crossed the 10,000 run mark in the format and he knows a thing or two about scoring big in World Cups.
Middle order too has been in fine touch for India - with their No.3 Virat Kohli consistently scoring runs. He had a fantastic Asia Cup and the highlight of the tournament was his unbeaten 122 against Pakistan. Apart from that, Kohli has smashed two more ODI centuries this calendar year, which augurs well for Team India.
India will be also overjoyed with the returns of keeper batsman KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer from their respective injuries. While Rahul scored a majestic hundred against Pakistan in the Asia Cup, Shreyas announced his comeback in the home series against Australia. This should give India a settled top 5.
Ishan Kishan has made some useful contributions in the recent past and his knock against Pakistan in the initial stages of Asia Cup 2023 saved India from a collapse. Likewise, Hardik Pandya has also been in consistent form in both the departments of the game - scoring 372 runs and picking 16 wickets in 16 games.
Yet another heartening thing is the batting form of Suryakumar Yadav, who smacked two half centuries in the series against Australia.
Well-rounded bowling attack
India possesses a balanced bowling attack for the conditions in the country. Jasprit Bumrah is arguably the finest bowler at present, and he has made a reasonably good comeback from injury in the Asia Cup - picking 5 wickets.
The real wreckers-in-chief for India have been Mohammad Siraj and Kuldeep Yadav - who have picked 29 & 31 wickets respectively in 2023.
Apart from these left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja, and pacer Mohammad Shami have also made significant contributions with the ball.
The return of spin wizard Ravichandran Ashwin is also a good sign for the Indian side, as his experience in bowling and his determination with the bat will definitely improve India’s chances.
Weakness of Team India
Lack of fire power in the lower order is a cause of concern?
There is no real cause of worry per se for the team in terms of form, but the long tail in the batting line-up may come to haunt India at some point in time in this World Cup. While Axar Patel has done decently, Jadeja’s batting has been going through a slump lately in the format.
Jadeja has scored only 154 runs in 11 innings and the strike rate 59.49 of is a matter of concern. Also, Shardul Thakur has been on the expensive side with the ball going at an economy of 6.35, but at the same time he has been amongst wickets (19 from 13 matches) in 2023.
India’s probable playing XI: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammad Shami, Mohammad Siraj, and Jasprit Bumrah
India World Cup 2023 squad: Rohit Sharma (c), Hardik Pandya (vc), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav.