Team India's Top-Order Batting Remains A Serious Concern Heading Into ICC World Cup 2023; Here's Why

Team India's Top-Order Batting Remains A Serious Concern Heading Into ICC World Cup 2023; Here's Why

The World Cup squad announced on Tuesday looks a balanced one with all bases covered but that is only on paper.

Haridev PushparajUpdated: Tuesday, September 05, 2023, 08:37 PM IST
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The 15-member Indian cricket team announced for the World Cup on Tuesday is well-balanced and solid, covering all crucial bases but mind you that is only on paper.

The thing about World Cup squads is they are meant to have back ups for all departments of the game and India have done exactly that with their batting, bowling and wicket-keeping.

The Indian batting order looks solid at the top with heavyweights Rohit Sharma, young Shubman Gill and the iconic Virat Kohli holding fort.

Vulnerability to Pace and Swing

The problem though is none of these three supremely talented players have been comfortable against the moving ball at express pace.

There was ample evidence of it during India's Asia Cup opener against Pakistan when the Indian top three were all out bowled to the Pakistani pacers Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf.

It was a telling reminder of how fragile the Indian top order looks against top quality pace attacks like Pakistan, Australia, England and New Zealand.

These are serious areas of concern which the Indian team will have to address going into the World Cup.

Reinforcements with Jasprit Bumrah's Return

Bowling has been thin in the absence of Jasprit Bumrah for almost a year and now that he is back in action, things will hopefully start looking better.

Mohammad Shami and Mohammad Siraj will have to be used intelligently in games to get the most out of them depending on conditions and opponents.

The duo will have to press the pedal and step up their efforts of supporting Bumrah in giving India early breathroughs in big, crunch games especially.

Spinners as Key Factors

The spinners will be a huge factor in determining India's fortunes at the World Cup and the likes of Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel along with Kuldeep Yadav will provide the variety and mix of finger spinners and wrist spinners.

It provides Rohit Sharma with options to choose from in games where the finger spinners could be used and where adequate batting depth can also be found.

Turning tracks such as Chennai and Ahmedabad could see Kuldeep Yadav featuring in the XI with his ability to turn the ball fair and square.

Backup Wicketkeeper and Specialist Batter

Ishan Kishan as second-choice wicketkeeper is an attractive option in case Rahul misses any game and he could also double up as a specialist batsman if need be.

Suryakumar Yadav is in the squad and provides the team the option of using him as a X-factor and he might get a look-in in one of the crucial encounters in the World Cup as well.

The likes of Hardik Pandya and Shardul Thakur lend great balance to the squad with their seam bowling and batting capabilities and are invaluable to the team.

On Paper vs. Reality

On paper, India are all set to conquer the world but it's only on paper.

Effectively, it's all about going out there and executing their skills in front of the world and winning the Cup that will truly be the legacy of this team.

Sorting out their top order problems with pace will be a good way to start that process.

India's World Cup squad: Rohit Sharma (capt), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya (vice-capt), Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah.

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