Game Changers: INDIA

posted by
September 21, 2023
Game Changers: INDIA

India's romance with the ICC Cricket World Cup has always been an enthralling tale. From Kapil Dev's men scripting history in 1983 to M.S. Dhoni's iconic six that sealed the deal in 2011, Indian national cricket team’s  journey in the ICC Cricket World Cup has been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride, replete with soaring highs.

With the cricketing extravaganza returning to India's shores this October, the anticipation is evident. It's been 12 long years since the Men in Blue last lifted the coveted trophy, and what could be more poetic than reclaiming it on home soil?  

The 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup promises a medley of young vigour and seasoned experience in the Indian squad. Here’s a detailed look at the players from India's squad and their World Cup journeys so far.

Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma has twice graced the World Cup stage, in 2015 and 2019, accumulating 978 runs over 17 innings at an impressive average of 65.20. His 2019 performance stands out: 648 runs in nine matches, with a stellar average of 81.00. During the edition, Rohit made history by becoming the only cricketer to hit five centuries in a single World Cup. Presently, he shares the record of six World Cup tons with the legendary Sachin Tendulkar. As the 2023 World Cup approaches, the limelight is on Rohit, as he stands poised to potentially overtake Tendulkar's record and make it his own.

Virat Kohli

In his 26 ODI World Cup appearances, Virat Kohli has scored 1030 runs, averaging a commendable 46.82. Diving deeper into the figures, he scored 282 runs during the 2011 World Cup at an average of 35.25, ramped it up to 305 runs in 2015, averaging 50.83, and reached a pinnacle with 443 runs in 2019, averaging an impressive 55.38. Beyond World Cup statistics, the batting maestro has etched his name with 47 ODI centuries. He's just three tons shy of eclipsing Sachin Tendulkar's legendary record of 49 ODI hundreds. With the upcoming tournament in sight and Kohli in prime form, he stands on the cusp of potentially rewriting cricketing history.

Jasprit Bumrah 

Making his World Cup debut in the last edition, Jasprit Bumrah shined with a spectacular performance, claiming 18 wickets in just nine matches at an average of 18.61 and a frugal economy rate of 4.42 Since that stellar introduction to the World Cup, the 29-year-old pacer's growth curve has been on a relentless upswing. With 125 ODI wickets under his belt, a standout performance in the upcoming World Cup could see him crossing the 150-wicket milestone. Not only would this be a personal achievement for Bumrah, but it would also significantly boost India's prospects of clinching the coveted trophy.

Hardik Pandya

Hardik Pandya showed his brilliance in the last World cup, notching up 226 runs in nine matches at an explosive strike rate of 112.44 and an average of 32.29. His contribution didn't end with the bat as he pocketed 10 crucial wickets too. Now, stepping into the 2023 tournament with the added mantle of vice-captaincy, the lanky all-rounder carries heavier expectations. His game has seen significant evolution since 2019, and given his recent form, his dual role as a batsman and bowler will be pivotal. On the brink of achieving 2000 ODI runs and close to the landmark of 100 ODI wickets, Pandya reaching these milestones could not only be a personal win but could also catapult India's quest for World Cup glory.

KL Rahul

KL Rahul stamped his authority in the previous World Cup with 361 runs in nine games, averaging 45.13 and striking at 77.47. He scored two half-centuries and a defining hundred during the tournament. Now, post his recuperation from a prolonged injury, Rahul faces a transformed role. Besides wielding the bat, he's donning the gloves and has transitioned from his earlier role as an opener to now being a finisher. This shift highlights the vital role he's set to play in the upcoming tournament.

Ravindra Jadeja

Ravindra Jadeja stands as one of India's seasoned campaigners with firsthand World Cup experience. Back in 2015, he showcased his all-round abilities, clinching 9 wickets across 8 games and adding 57 runs from his bat in 5 innings. While 2019 didn't offer him ample opportunities, his valiant effort against New Zealand in the semi-final remains etched in memory, where he nearly steered India to victory. In his World Cup journey so far, Jadeja has tallied 134 runs at an average of 26.80 and bagged 11 wickets, averaging 39.18. As we approach the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup, another milestone looms on Jadeja's horizon as he's on his way to breach the 3000-run mark in ODIs which he could potentially achieve during the tournament. 

Mohammed Shami

With two World Cups under his belt, Mohamed Shami emerges as the most seasoned bowler in the current squad. His World Cup journey began in 2015, where he snared 17 wickets, and he upped the ante in 2019 with another 14 scalps. Across 11 World Cup matches, Shami's tally stands at an impressive 31 wickets at an average of 15.71 and an economy rate of 5.06. His memorable hat-trick against Afghanistan in 2019 is still afresh in fans’ minds. As we edge closer to the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup, Shami's vast experience will undoubtedly be a linchpin for India's bowling attack.

Suryakumar Yadav

Suryakumar Yadav is set to make his maiden appearance in the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup, and the cricketing fraternity is buzzing with anticipation. Known for his explosive style and audacious strokes in T20Is, Yadav has become synonymous with setting the scoreboard alight. While he hasn't yet mirrored his T20I brilliance in the ODI format, this tournament offers him the perfect stage to showcase his skills. The grandeur of the tournament along with the challenge of proving his mettle in ODIs, might just bring out the best in this dynamic batsman.

Shubman Gill

Shubman Gill has been setting the ODI arena ablaze in 2023. As he prepares for his World Cup debut, there's more than just the weight of expectations on his young shoulders. With a natural understanding of Indian pitches and an astonishing ODI average of 63.1 in his fledgling career, Gill stands as one of India's trump cards at the top order. The 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup offers him the stage to further showcase his prodigious talent. He is also on the verge of breaching the 2000-run mark in ODIs, a milestone he could unlock in the upcoming tournament.  Amidst seasoned players, Gill might just be the spark India needs to illuminate their World Cup journey with his scintillating batting.

Shreyas Iyer

Making his debut in the ODI World Cup, Shreyas Iyer is a name that has garnered significant attention. Bouncing back from a lengthy injury break, Iyer's timely return during the Asia Cup was proof of his resilience. The spotlight is firmly on him as he steps up to tackle India's tricky No. 4 conundrum, a challenge that has proven elusive for the team in past tournaments, including the previous World Cup. Before his injury, Iyer had been the anchor of India's middle order in ODIs, and his comeback signifies hope for a stable batting core. With the 2000 ODI run milestone within his grasp, the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup could very well see Iyer make a mark.

Ishan Kishan

Picked as a backup for wicketkeeper-batsman KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan's staggering rise in recent ODI outings has turned heads. His successive fifties against West Indies along with a gritty fifty against Pakistan in the Asia Cup, have made a compelling case for his inclusion in the starting XI. Moreover, Kishan's dexterity as a left-hander brings a refreshing balance to an Indian batting order largely dominated by right-handed batters. Approaching the 1000 ODI runs mark, Kishan, if given a chance in the 2023 World Cup, stands on the brink of becoming the second-fastest Indian to achieve this milestone.

Ravichandran Ashwin

Stepping into the Indian squad as a replacement for the injured Axar Patel, the seasoned off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin makes a much-anticipated return to the World Cup arena. Set to participate in his third edition, having previously played in 2011 and 2015, Ashwin brings with him an invaluable wealth of experience, especially in home conditions. In the 10 World Cup fixtures he has been part of, Ashwin has clinched 17 scalps at an impressive average of 24.88 and an economy rate of 4.36. His best figures of 4/25 bear testimony to his match-winning capabilities. As India embarks on its 2023 campaign, Ashwin's presence provides both wicket-taking options and control, making him a crucial cog in the team's spin arsenal.

Shardul Thakur

For the first time in India’s ODI World Cup squad, Shardul Thakur possesses an uncanny ability to influence the game with both bat and ball. On the bowling front, Thakur is not just about pace and movement; he has an innate knack for breaking partnerships and claiming crucial wickets when the team needs it the most. With the willow, he has showcased time and again that he's more than a mere tail-ender. As the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup approaches, his all-round capabilities could be the x-factor India relies upon in their quest for victory.

Mohammed Siraj

Stepping up in the absence of seasoned players like Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj has truly emerged as the leader of India's pace battery. His exceptional form in 2023 also propelled him to the top of the ICC ODI rankings for bowlers. With a staggering 22 wickets in just 10 ODI games this year, Siraj stands as India's prime wicket-taking machine. As the World Cup 2023 looms, all eyes will be on Siraj, who will look to continue from where he left in the Asia Cup 2023 final.

Kuldeep Yadav

Kuldeep Yadav, who is the lone specialist spinner in the squad, brings to the table a unique weapon with his left-arm spin. In India, where tracks traditionally assist spinners, Kuldeep could very well emerge as India's secret weapon. His knack for stifling opposition in the middle overs, combined with his wily deliveries that often lead to breakthroughs, will be indispensable for the team. With a commendable haul of 31 wickets from just 16 matches this year, his form is hard to overlook. The left-arm chinaman will play a crucial role in India's World Cup aspirations.


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