ODI World Cup

ODI World Cup 2023: Strongest Playing 11 for Team India

Rohit Sharma to lead a squad with batting depth as we look at the strongest playing 11 for Team India for ODI World Cup 2023.  

There’s only a month to go for the biggest cricket carnival of the year, the ODI World Cup 2023, and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has officially announced the squad for Team India. As expected, and as per ICC’s guidelines, India have selected a 15-member squad with the possibility of changing the squad before September 28.

The squad seems to be on the expected lines from Asia Cup 2023 with only two members missing out in the form of Tilak Varma and Prasidh Krishna. The major discussion point was around KL Rahul’s fitness. But having cleared the fitness at the NCA, KL Rahul makes the cut in the final 15 with Sanju Samson missing out.   

With the official squad in front of us, the main challenge would be for Team India to select their playing 11 depending on pitch conditions. In KL Rahul’s absence in the Asia Cup 2023, Ishan Kishan played a mature but intentful knock against Pakistan. But will that alter the think tank of Team India as they look for their strongest playing 11? 

Well, we have 15 names in front of us, so how about we take a look at the strongest possible playing 11 for Team India for the ODI World Cup 2023? Before that, let’s look at the official 15-man squad for Team India for the ODI World Cup 2023 as divided into four major categories, batters, wicket-keepers, all-rounders, and bowlers. 

Team India’s Strongest Playing 11 for ODI World Cup 2023:

ODI World Cup 2023 – Official Squad List for Team India:

Batters: Rohit Sharma (c), Shreyas Iyer, Shubman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav & Virat Kohli

WKs: Ishan Kishan & KL Rahul

All-rounders: Axar Patel, Hardik Pandya & Ravindra Jadeja

Bowlers: Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj & Shardul Thakur

Top-order: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill & Virat Kohli

Team India have a strong and consistent top-order that they have been playing for quite some time, and this should continue for all matches of ODI World Cup 2023, unless there are any injury concerns. So, expect Captain Rohit Sharma and young Shubman Gill to open with Virat Kohli holding the fort at number 3 position. 

Middle-order: Ishan Kishan (wk) & KL Rahul

Middle-order is the area that would see a lot of discussions and changes as India move closer to finalizing their best playing 11 for the ODI World Cup 2023. Between Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan, KL Rahul, and Suryakumar Yadav, which two players should get an opportunity in the final playing 11?

Between now and India’s first match of ODI World Cup 2023, India have approximately seven matches to finalize their best playing 11. In an ideal scenario, Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul seem to be the best options that India may go ahead with; unless one of Shreyas Iyer or KL Rahul shows awful form to be dropped.

But Ishan Kishan’s mature innings may have changed things a bit for Rahul Dravid and Rohit Sharma. Kishan, the only left-hander in the top six and a better wicket-keeper than KL Rahul played exceptionally well against Pakistan in the first match of Asia Cup 2023. Shouldn’t that give RD and RO a hint of making their stronger by playing Kishan ahead of either Shreyas or KL?

But if we play Ishan Kishan in the playing 11, who should India play between Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul? Honestly, both have been quite successful playing at number 4 and 5 in ODIs. But if only one had to be selected, it should be KL Rahul, who is a more senior and better batter in the middle-order. 

All-rounders: Hardik Pandya & Ravindra Jadeja

Coming to all-rounders, there is no second thought as to who would take those spots. Team India have two solid options in the form of Pace all-rounder Hardik Pandya and spin all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja. Not only can these two give you full 10 overs, but they can also give you solid batting depth. 

Bowlers: Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah & Mohammed Siraj

Finally talking about the pacers, the main question for Team India is whether they play three front-line pacers in the form of Bumrah, Siraj, and Shami, or they play Shardul Thakur, who can also give you good batting depth. Well, there is no right answer to this, and it completely depends on what strategy Team India adopt.

If we observe the current strategy of Team India, they are looking for someone who can bowl in the middle-overs, and can give you that desired batting depth. Shardul Thakur provides exactly that, and much better than Shami. So, even as Shami is a fantastic bowler, he will have to wait for his chance, unless India’s bowling looks hopeless. 

ODI World Cup 2023 – Strongest Possible Playing 11 for Team India:

Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Ishan Kishan (wk), KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah & Mohammed Siraj

So, that’s about the strongest possible playing 11 for Team India for the ODI World Cup 2023. Overall, 9 players select for themselves in the strongest 11. The only questions that Team India would have is who to select from Ishan Kishan vs Shreyas Iyer and Mohammed Shami vs Shardul Thakur. Post Asia Cup 2023, India will play Australia for a 3-match ODI series before the World Cup campaign begins.

Thanks for reading! What’s your take on Team India playing 11 for ODI World Cup 2023? Please email your thoughts to business@cricalytics.com

ALSO READ: ODI World Cup 2023: Team India Official Squad and Players List

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