Team India has officially announced its 15-member squad for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, set to take place in India from October 5 to November 19. The team, led by Rohit Sharma, closely resembles the one selected for the Asia Cup, with few surprises. Key players like Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, and Mohammed Siraj were expected choices, while others like Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Axar Patel, and Shardul Thakur secured their spots after facing stiff competition.

With the highly anticipated World Cup match against Australia approaching, India has limited opportunities to fine-tune their preparations. It’s a critical juncture to assess whether Team India is on the right track and identify areas of improvement under the leadership of captain Rohit Sharma, coach Rahul Dravid, and the entire team management.

Rohit Sharma’s excellent form is a significant boost for the team. As the Indian captain, he has faced pressure to perform consistently, but recent times have seen optimism regarding his batting. Since the start of 2023, Rohit has played 13 ODI innings, amassing 577 runs at an average of 52.45. During this period, he achieved a century and registered five half-centuries, including three consecutive ones during the Asia Cup. His stellar performance in the 2019 World Cup, where he scored five centuries, adds to India’s hopes for a strong showing in the upcoming World Cup.

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Virat Kohli, another senior batsman, holds equal importance in India’s ODI World Cup campaign. Kohli has been in outstanding form in white-ball cricket, with 556 runs scored at an average of 55.60 in 12 one-day innings since the beginning of 2023. His resurgence is a positive sign for India, as he remains a pivotal figure in the batting order.

However, India faces challenges beyond the performances of Kohli and Rohit. Shubman Gill has struggled with inconsistency since IPL 2023, showcasing both impressive runs and soft dismissals. Additionally, Shreyas Iyer’s recurring fitness issues, particularly related to his back, raise concerns about his availability for the World Cup. Despite his contributions when fit, his ongoing fitness troubles could jeopardize his spot in the World Cup squad.

KL Rahul seized the opportunity in Shreyas’ absence, making a strong case for his comeback with a remarkable century against Pakistan in the Asia Cup. Rahul’s form with the bat and his wicket-keeping skills make him a valuable asset, although it carries some risks. Ishan Kishan has displayed consistency in one-day cricket and showcased his maturity with a crucial knock under pressure during the Asia Cup.

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Suryakumar Yadav’s inclusion in the ODI World Cup squad has sparked debate due to his strong T20I record but relatively poor one-day performance. India hopes he can be a wildcard contributor, but it’s a risky move.

India’s pace bowling appears robust with the return of Jasprit Bumrah, and the form of Siraj and Shami in Bumrah’s absence has been promising. Hardik Pandya’s bowling rhythm in the Asia Cup adds depth to the squad. However, the decision to exclude leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal in favor of pace-bowling all-rounder Shardul Thakur and left-arm spinning all-rounder Axar Patel is debatable. This decision reflects India’s emphasis on batting depth over pure bowling skills and could significantly impact the team’s World Cup campaign.