The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) chief selector, Ajit Agarkar has shown great confidence in the chosen squad’s balance and its potential to seize the coveted title. Agarkar’s assertion came on Tuesday as he, along with Indian skipper Rohit Sharma, unveiled the 15-member squad primed to represent India in the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup, set to kick off on October 5 in India.
Reflecting on the meticulous planning that went into the selection process, Agarkar revealed that early planning had been paramount, despite a few fitness concerns that required attention. “We started planning early, but there were a couple of fitness issues. The big players for us, all have come through from long-term injury. KL (Rahul) is also looking good. This gives us the best balance and the best chance to win the World Cup,” Agarkar stated following the squad announcement in Kandy.
Addressing concerns over KL Rahul’s fitness, Agarkar reassured that the accomplished batsman is fully prepared to rejoin the team. “KL Rahul has played a couple of games over the last two days and kept wicket for a whole 50 overs. He should be ready,” he added.
In terms of the squad composition, Agarkar highlighted the emphasis on flexibility and depth. “We have a pool of 17 players, including Rahul, and we have contingency plans in place. Our focus is on selecting the 15 individuals who can successfully complete the task at hand,” he emphasized. The inclusion of spinners and all-rounders, offering both batting and bowling prowess, adds a layer of strategic depth to the squad’s arsenal.
With a squad that closely resembles the Asia Cup contingent, Agarkar affirmed the cohesive approach, with minor changes to account for tactical variations. “We ideally wanted an off-spinner, but this gives balance. We are quite happy with the bowlers we have,” he elaborated.
The squad features a blend of established and emerging talents. Captain Rohit Sharma leads a robust batting group, supported by names such as Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, and Ishan Kishan, who provides a valuable keeping option. Meanwhile, the all-rounder contingent, comprising Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, and Shardul Thakur, offers flexibility and batting depth.
In the realm of bowling, the formidable quartet of Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami, and Mohammed Siraj stand ready to spearhead the pace attack. Spin duties are entrusted to the seasoned Kuldeep Yadav.
The anticipation surrounding the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup continues to mount as ten teams prepare to vie for supremacy across 10 venues from October 5 to November 19. The Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad will play host to the tournament’s opener and the final, with a total of 48 matches scheduled over 46 days. As the cricketing world braces for this monumental spectacle, the stage is set for thrilling displays of skill, determination, and camaraderie on the grandest of stages.
Indian squad for World Cup: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj.