In a highly anticipated announcement, Team India has officially unveiled its 15-member squad for the forthcoming ICC ODI World Cup, scheduled to kick off on October 5 in India. While the majority of the roster is comprised of players from the Asia Cup squad, a series of unexpected exclusions have generated considerable discussions among cricket fans and experts. Notably, the omission of key players such as Prasidh Krishna, Tilak Varma, and Sanju Samson has raised eyebrows, alongside the absence of seasoned campaigners like Yuzvendra Chahal, Shikhar Dhawan, R Ashwin, and Washington Sundar.

Following the squad reveal, former Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh took to social media to express his surprise. He remarked, “Surprised not to see Yuzvendra Chahal in the World Cup squad for Team India. A pure match winner.” Chahal boasts an impressive track record with 121 wickets in 72 ODIs and had been a part of the 2019 ODI World Cup squad that reached the semi-finals. However, he has only played two ODIs in 2023. Notably, India has opted for just one specialist spinner in their final 15, and that role goes to Kuldeep Yadav.

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This revelation unfolded during a press conference in Sri Lanka, where BCCI Chief Selector Ajit Agarkar, along with Team India captain Rohit Sharma, unveiled the squad. Teams have the flexibility to make changes to their squads until September 28, leaving the door open for potential last-minute alterations. Consequently, fans are eagerly awaiting to see if Chahal might stage a surprising comeback.

Currently, India is actively competing in the Asia Cup, gearing up for their Super Four clash against arch-rivals Pakistan. Additionally, they are set to host Australia for a three-match ODI series later this month, providing valuable preparation ahead of the World Cup. The mega-tournament will commence with a marquee clash between defending champions England and New Zealand in Ahmedabad. Meanwhile, Rohit Sharma and his squad will launch their campaign against Australia on October 8 in Chennai.

The squad announcement has triggered extensive discussions about India’s World Cup ambitions and strategic choices. The notable exclusions suggest a calculated gamble by the selectors, placing their trust in a younger generation while sidelining experienced campaigners. While Harbhajan Singh’s concerns echo those of many cricket enthusiasts, it remains to be seen whether the BCCI will consider these calls and make last-minute adjustments. With the deadline for squad changes still a few weeks away, speculations abound regarding potential twists in this unfolding narrative.

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India’s Squad for ICC Cricket World Cup 2023: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya (Vice-Captain), Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj.