21 matches to go, 31 players compete for 15-member World Cup 2023 Squad, Check OUT

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IND vs NZ LIVE: World Cup 2023: India’s preparations for ODI World Cup 2023 begin with IND vs NZ ODI series. Although…

IND vs NZ LIVE: World Cup 2023: India’s preparations for ODI World Cup 2023 begin with IND vs NZ ODI series. Although most of the star players are on a break, by no means it is without any context. India have exactly 21 ODIs to decide the India Squad WC 2023. While India already have auditioned 44 players since 2019 WC, 31 players are still in the fray. 14 of them are available to VVS Laxman in the NZ series with Shikhar Dhawan still fighting for a spot. Rohit Sharma will be back to take care in the Bangladesh series. Follow India vs NewZealand LIVE Updates on InsideSport.IN.

Since the 2019 World Cup, focus has been on T20s. As a result, India have played only 39 ODIs in the last three and half years. Interestingly, only 6 players have played more than 20 ODIs. Hence, India are far from being a settled squad at the moment. In fact, since the WC, India have tried out 44 players in 13 series. Only Dhawan has played more than 30.

IND vs NZ ODI: 21 Matches left for World Cup 2023, 31 players still fighting for a spot in 15-member squad, first stop NewZealand, Check OUT

ICC ODI Rankings: World No. 1 ODI RANK up for grabs, Shikhar Dhawan led India targets TOP RANK with win over NewZealand: Follow IND vs NZ LIVE

Competition in Top Order: 

  • Rohit Sharma (Innings: 17, Runs: 718, Avg: 45, SR: 96)
  • KL Rahul (Innings: 11, Runs: 603, Avg: 67, SR: 109)
  • Shikhar Dhawan (Innings: 29, Runs: 1192, Avg: 46, SR: 83)
  • Shubman Gill (Innings: 10, Runs: 563, Avg: 70, SR: 106)
  • Virat Kohli (Innings: 24, Runs: 1042, Avg: 45, SR: 91)
  • Ishan Kishan (Innings: 8, Runs: 267, Avg: 33, SR: 91)
  • Prithvi Shaw (Innings: 6, Runs: 189, Avg: 32, SR: 114)

Despite leading the side in NewZealand, Shikhar Dhawan’s place in Indian ODI team is still up for debate. He may be the most consistent in terms of scoring but his drastic dip in strike rate is a cause for concern.

  • Since the 2019 WC, Dhawan has featured in 31 ODIs, scoring 1192 runs at a 45.84 average.
  • However, there has been a drastic dip in the strike rate. His 83 strike rate is the most contentious point.
  • Even though Rohit Sharma wants an aggressive approach, Dhawan has struggled to fit into the role.
  • He faces immense competition from Shubman Gill.
  • The Punjab opener is averaging 70+ since making his ODI debut. He also strikes at 102, making him a potent weapon.
  • If he continues the good run, he could give Dhawan a run for the money.
  • Bring in KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan and even Prithvi Shaw into the mix, Dhawan’s numbers pale in comparison.

IND vs NZ ODI: 21 Matches left for World Cup 2023, 31 players still fighting for a spot in 15-member squad, first stop NewZealand, Check OUT

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Middle-Order Conundrum:

  • KL Rahul (If not in opening)
  • Suryakumar Yadav (Innings: 12, Runs: 340, Avg: 34, SR: 99)
  • Sanju Samson (Innings: 9, Runs: 294, Avg: 74, SR: 106)
  • Rishabh Pant (Innings: 15, Runs: 613, Avg: 44, SR: 114)
  • Shreyas Iyer (Innings: 22, Runs: 928, Avg: 49, SR: 99)
  • Rahul Tripathi (Yet to make debut)
  • Rajat Patidar (Yet to make debut)

India have way too many options in the middle order. While that’s a luxury every team wants to have, it creates a selection puzzle. If Dhawan stays on for India in WC, KL Rahul will certainly be dropped to middle order. India also have to take a call on Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson and Deepak Hooda. Not to forget, Rahul Tripathi has been warming the bench in ODIs.

  • India’s push for all-rounders will keep Hardik Pandya ahead in the race.
  • He is a starter if he stays fit and bowls 10 overs in a match.
  • But it also makes the selection decision difficult.
  • To accommodate both KL Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav, India may need to sacrifice Sanju Samson again.
  • Their inclusion also closes the doors to Tripathi.
  • Rishabh Pant is also going to be certainty if Samson doesn’t do wonders in limited opportunities.

IND vs NZ ODI: 21 Matches left for World Cup 2023, 31 players still fighting for a spot in 15-member squad, first stop NewZealand, Check OUT

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All-rounders: Pandya certain, who gets the other slots?

  • Hardik Pandya (Matches: 12, Runs: 429, Avg: 48, SR: 116, Wickets: 9, Econ: 5.52)
  • Washington Sundar (Matches: 5, Runs: 57, SR: 76, Wickets: 7, Economy: 4.8)
  • Axar Patel (Matches: 6, Runs: 92, SR: 137, Wickets: 8, ER: 4.2)
  • Deepak Hooda (Matches: 8, Runs: 141, Avg: 28, SR: 86, Wickets: 3, Econ: 4.76)
  • Shardul Thakur (Matches: 22, Runs: 235, Avg: 29, SR: 116, Wickets: 33, Econ: 6.49)
  • Shahbaz Ahmed (Matches: 2, Wickets: 3, Econ: 5.05)

Hardik Pandya is certain if he stays fit for the WC. He will play a crucial role to India’s WC campaign at home. But India’s push for all-rounders may see Washington Sundar, Deepak Hooda, Shardul Thakur and Deepak Chahar all in contention.

  • Washington Sundar’s injury struggles could be the one big factor that keeps him out of the squad.
  • As India move away from Ravichandran Ashwin, Sundar is set to play a big role in his absence.
  • It’s still not certain whether the new selection committee will consider Ashwin for ODIs.
  • Axar, a left-arm spin option, will compete with Shahbaz Ahmed.
  • But Shardul Thakur and Deepak Chahar are also slowly establishing themselves as all-rounders. Both could be crucial for India.
  • Deepak Hooda is yet to shine in ODIs. But he is likely to get more opportunities in the next 11 months.
  • If he performs well, he could pip Sanju Samson to WC squad.

IND vs NZ ODI: 21 Matches left for World Cup 2023, 31 players still fighting for a spot in 15-member squad, first stop NewZealand, Check OUT

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Spinners: Where does Ashwin fit?

  • R Ashwin (Matches: 2, Wickets: 1, Econ: 6.05)
  • Yuzvendra Chahal (Matches: 18, Wickets: 34, Econ: 5.6)
  • Kuldeep Yadav (Matches: 21, Wickets: 25, Econ: 5.8)
  • Washington Sundar (Matches: 5, Runs: 57, SR: 76, Wickets: 7, Econ: 4.8)

India are in NewZealand with no specialist finger-spinners. With no Ashwin in ODIs, India want to give Washington a run. In Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, India already have two wrist-spinners. But both have had their own struggles in the recent past. To put it bluntly, India do not have set spinners even 11 months before WC.

The five options India have will compete for three places. However, Ashwin is certainly not out. As the WC will be held in India, he could play a big role. It is up to the new selection committee to take a concrete call and not repeat T20 WC mistake.

IND vs NZ ODI: 21 Matches left for World Cup 2023, 31 players still fighting for a spot in 15-member squad, first stop NewZealand, Check OUT

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Pace Department: Is Shami still an option?

  • Jasprit Bumrah (Matches: 14, Wickets: 18, Econ: 5.2)
  • Mohammad Shami (Matches: 15, Wickets: 25, Econ: 6.16)
  • Deepak Chahar (Matches: 8, Wickets: 14, Econ: 5.81)
  • Arshdeep Singh (Yet to make debut)
  • Prasidh Krishna (Matches: 14, Wickets: 25, Econ: 5.3)
  • Shardul Thakur (Matches: 15, Wickets: 25, Econ: 6.16)
  • Umran Malik (Yet to make debut)
  • Mohammed Siraj (Matches: 12, Wickets: 18, Econ: 4.5)

India’s great depth in pace bowling department is a luxury. But it has often lacked edge in absence of Bumrah. Both Bumrah and Prasidh are nursing injuries at present and are unavailable. India also have two experienced pacers in Umesh Yadav and Mohammad Shami. But they are far from a settled unit.

  • If India look for more all-rounders, Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur are certain to make it.
  • However, in Arshdeep, India will have a left-arm seamer.
  • There is also Kuldeep Sen who is expected to make his debut in Bangladesh.
  • Umran is another exciting option to have. But he has lacked the trust from team management.

IND vs NZ ODI: 21 Matches left for World Cup 2023, 31 players still fighting for a spot in 15-member squad, first stop NewZealand, Check OUT

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