ODI World Cup 2023: Three Players India Must Have

India’s defeat in the ODI series on the tour of Bangladesh was an eye opener. The series was a part of India’s preparation for the ODI World Cup they are due to host in 2023. The absence of some key players and selection blunders combined to ensure that India could not field their best eleven. The batting failed to fire when it mattered. The bowling never looked threatening and allowed the Bangladesh tailenders to run away with games India should have won. If India want to win the ODI World Cup in 2023, the following three players MUST feature in the first eleven.

Ishan Kishan

But for an injury suffered by skipper Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan would have never played a single match in the 3-ODI series. After losing the first two matches, India won the toss in the third, and elected to bat. Ishan Kishan walked out to open the innings with Shikhar Dhawan. India lost Dhawan early, with only 15 runs on the board. Kohli joined Ishan and the pair got together in a historic partnership of 290 runs. When Ishan got out in the 36th over, he had made 210 runs in 131 balls, with 24 fours and 10 sixes. In the process, he had smashed Chris Gayle’s record for the fastest ODI double-hundred. India made 409/8, their 2nd highest ODI score, and dismissed Bangladesh for 182 to win by 227 runs, their highest victory margin. Including this latest knock, Ishan has made 477 runs in 10 ODI matches at 53.00 with a strike rate of 111.97.

ODI World Cup 2023

Sanju Samson

Sanju Samson’s omission from the India squad has set off a raging debate in cricketing circles. Let’s take a look at his ODI record. In 11 matches, Samson has scored 330 runs at an average of 66.00 and a strike rate of 104.76. He has registered two fifties, with a highest score of 86 not out. Before the tour of Bangladesh, India played a 3-ODI series in New Zealand. Pant who was preferred to Samson in the playing eleven made 15 and 10 in his two innings in that series. In the face of Pant’s continual failures with the bat, the selectors could have given Samson a chance. In the Bangladesh series, they decided to use KL Rahul as a stop-gap keeper. In a late development, Ireland’s cricket board has offered Samson a spot in their cricket team – as player and skipper. We wouldn’t blame the young wicket-keeper batsman if he accepted the offer, were the BCCI to continue to ignore him.

Umran Malik

In the absence of Bumrah, the selectors have taken a leaf from Pakistan’s playbook. Pakistan are famous for debuting fast bowlers without first class experience. Just six first class matches old, Umran Malik, the tearaway fast bowler from Kashmir has already made his international debut. On the recent tour of New Zealand, Umran took 2/66 in the first game in Auckland, the only completed match of the series. The young fast bowler impressed with his pace, accounting for the scalps of top order batters Devon Conway and Daryl Mitchell. In fact, thanks to his twin strikes, the Kiwis were reduced to 88/3 in their chase of 307. In the third game at Christchurch that was abandoned due to rain, he returned figures of 1/31. He took the only NZ wicket that fell, that of opener Finn Allen. In all, Umran has taken 7 wickets in 5 ODI games, in his fledgling career. With best figures of 2/43, Malik has shown that he is here to stay.


The selectors must accommodate these three youngsters, even if some senior players have to be rested. It’s high time India stopped relying on the likes of Rahul, Rohit Sharma and Dhawan.

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