Cricket enthusiasts around the world are gearing up for the highly anticipated ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, where India is set to face off against Australia in their opening match on October 8 in Chennai. The recent three-match ODI series between the two teams provided a final opportunity for both sides to fine-tune their strategies ahead of this prestigious tournament.
India’s squad for the World Cup was unveiled on Thursday, featuring one significant change. Ravichandran Ashwin has been included in the final 15-man squad, replacing Axar Patel, who unfortunately sustained an injury and had to step aside after initially making the cut.
Batting legend Sunil Gavaskar, known for his keen insights into the game, has taken on the role of a cricket strategist by selecting his ideal India playing XI for the crucial World Cup opener against Australia.
Gavaskar emphasized the importance of a strong opening partnership, stating, “In any team, the top-three batters are quite important. A good start from the openers helps the others that follow to play freely. The contribution from the opening pair is going to be crucial.”
For the bowling attack, Gavaskar opted for a balanced combination, suggesting, “You may pick three fast bowlers – Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Shami, and Jasprit Bumrah. If they want to go with two seamers since they already have Hardik Pandya, then an extra spinner can be included. You can have Ashwin in the eleven.”
Former cricketer Irfan Pathan echoed Gavaskar’s sentiments regarding the top-seven batters but added a vital perspective on the bowling department. Pathan emphasized the need for India to field five specialist bowlers to handle the challenges posed by dew conditions under lights.
“I agree with the top-seven. (But) I want the Indian team to go with proper five bowlers,” Pathan urged. “You have Hardik as the sixth bowler, but you should go with bowlers having wicket-taking abilities. The pitches you will get now, there’s a possibility of dew, so then you need to have a solid bowling lineup throughout the World Cup.”
Pathan’s suggested playing XI included “three fast bowlers that include Siraj, Shami, and Bumrah,” along with “a proper bowler in Jadeja if it’s on a turning track.” This approach, he argued, would ensure that India fields a well-rounded bowling attack focused on taking wickets.
With insights from these cricketing legends, the cricketing world awaits India’s final playing XI as they embark on their journey in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023.
Sunil Gavaskar’s Playing XI: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, and Jasprit Bumrah