safari staff
05 Sep 2023 | 08:09 AM

KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan picked in India's World Cup squad

Prasidh Krishna, Tilak Varma and Sanju Samaon, who were part of the Asia Cup 2023 squad miss out

India have announced their 15-member squad for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, starting October 5. Rohit Sharma will lead the side for the first time in the 50-over World Cup, with Hardik Pandya named his deputy. The announcement was made in a press conference addressed by Rohit and chief selector Ajit Agarkar in Pallekele.

The three players to miss out from the 18-member Asia Cup 2023 squad are Sanju Samson, Prasidh Krishna and Tilak Varma. 

KL Rahul, who has not played any competitive cricket since sustaining an injury in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 in May, gets the nod, and so does Shreyas Iyer, who also returned to action in the Asia Cup matches against Pakistan and Nepal. Though part of the squad, Rahul is expected to feature in the Super Four stage. Ishan Kishan, who made a brilliant fifty against Pakistan in the middle-order, also gets the nod, and so does Suryakumar Yadav, who averages 24.33 in 24 ODI innings.

"We had a couple of fitness issues that we had to look at, but all three [Rahul, Jasprit Bumrah and Shreyas Iyer], who had long-term injuries have come through," Ajit Agarkar said in a press conference. 

"KL is looking good. We feel this gives us the best balance to try and do well. With KL, he was part of the camp in Bangalore, he looked really good there, has got over his niggle. He played a couple of games over the last two days. I think he kept for 50 overs and batted for around 50 overs too, so he looks good and we're happy to have him."

Bumrah, Mohammad Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur and Hardik are India's fast bowling options, while Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel are the spinners in the squad.

"Clearly there will be discussions given we have both Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel who spin the ball into left-handers," Agarkar said. 

"[But] both give us depth in batting. Kuldeep takes the ball away. In 50 overs cricket, perhaps you would ideally want an offspinner but this gives us the best balance. Seamers tend to bowl a lot more in ODIs as compared to T20 cricket, and perhaps you're a little more under pressure if you don't have an offie, so we're happy with the guys we have."

After trouncing Nepal by 10 wickets, Rohit had said that they knew what their 15 for the World Cup would look like. "When we came here, in the back of our mind, we knew what our World Cup 15 would look like, except maybe one or two spots," the skipper said on Monday (September 4).

Although the last day to announce the provisional World Cup squad was today, the teams are free to make changes till September 28, however, Agarkar has confirmed that they will not tweak the team unless there's an injury.

India will kick start their 2023 World Cup campaign against Australia on October 8 in Chennai. They will play a couple of warm-up games before the mega event - against England on September 30 in Guwahati and the Netherlands on October 3 in Thiruvananthapuram.

The final of the tournament will be staged at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad, while Kolkata and Mumbai will host the two semi-finals.

India squad for World Cup: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya (vc), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav

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