Indian team will be readying itself for the crucial Asia Cup 2023 tournament which begins on August 30. This tournament will serve as the final leg of preparation for the Men in Blue for the World Cup 2023 which starts on October 5.
Asia Cup will see India playing atleast 5 ODIs starting with their tournament opener against Pakistan on September 2nd and Nepal on September 4th. India is also expected to make it into the Super 4s stage, where each team will play their opponents once.
It has been reported that BCCI selectors will meet on August 21 in Delhi with captain Rohit Sharma and coach Rahul Dravid attending the meeting as well. A 17-member squad is most likely to be selected for the continental tournament which will then be trimmed to 15 members for the World Cup.
While the squad is yet to be finalized, a few names are more or less confirmed to be picked for both tournaments. There are speculations about a couple of players owing to their fitness and others on the form.
Keeping this in mind, Team COC presents the predicted squad for the Asia Cup and the provisional squad for the ICC World Cup 2023.
India is expected to play five matches in the Asia Cup 2023 tournament including the two group stage matches. And then India will have three ODIs against Australia at home before the World Cup 2023 tournament begins on October 5 at home.
Rohit Sharma is set to captain the Indian side with Hardik Pandya as his deputy. The skipper will also open the innings, but it remains to be seen who will be his partner as both Shubman Gill and Ishan Kishan have claimed that spot.
Ishan Kishan was the Player of the Series in ODIs against West Indies with three consecutive fifties, while Shubman Gill had an excellent first half of 2023 in ODIs.
The concern for India mostly is the middle order which has given the team headaches. Virat Kohli at no.3 and Hardik Pandya at no.6 are confirmed. The no.4 and no.5 spots are still up for grabs thanks to uncertainty over the fitness of KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer.
Rahul has been amazing in ODIs at no.5 and he has also kept wickets, while Shreyas Iyer’s average in ODIs at no.4 in recent times has been too good. Unfortunately, both of them got injured at almost the same time.
Iyer suffered a back injury after Sri Lanka ODIs at home which got aggravated during Australia Tests and he had to undergo surgery to rectify the issue. KL Rahul injured his thigh during the IPL 2023 and also underwent surgery and both rehabbed in NCA and only recently got to play practice games at the Bengaluru facility.
That is why Indian team management gave ample opportunities to Sanju Samson and Suryakumar Yadav to prove their worth in ODIs. However, both of them have failed to grab onto the chances.
With Kishan in the squad as a wicketkeeping option, Samson might find himself out of contention.
When compared, Suryakumar Yadav has a better chance to get picked in the Asia Cup and World Cup squads, thanks to his reputation of being a 360-degree player who takes on the pacers and spinners alike from ball one.
Ravindra Jadeja and Hardik Pandya are set to be the all-rounders and sure-shot picks in the Indian squads for both events. India might also opt for Shardul Thakur as well, as he can tonk the ball well and might come as a backup option for Pandya.
In the spin department, India will also go with Kuldeep Yadav who has been excellent with the ball in recent times. As for the third spinner role, Akshar Patel or R Ashwin might fight it out for the spot.
And reports are stating that Ashwin has the edge over Akshar, as he provides a right-arm off-spin option while the Gujarat spinner might be considered to be a backup of Ja,deja. Also Ashwin's record against left-handed batters gives him a slight edge.
The fast-bowling department has straight picks in Mohammad Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, and Mohammed Siraj.
India also has the option to bring in Prasidh Krishna as well, but since he is coming out of a long layoff and only began bowling last month, he might not be pushed too hard right from the go.
Predicted Team India Asia Cup 2023 squad:
Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul (WK), Ishan Kishan (WK), Shreyas Iyer (if fit else Sanju Samson), Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Akshar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, R Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Mohammad Shami, Mohammed Siraj.
Predicted Team India World Cup 2023 provisional squad:
Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul (WK), Ishan Kishan (WK), Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, R Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Mohammad Shami, Mohammed Siraj.
Standby - Sanju Samson, Akshar Patel, and Prasidh Krishna