The anticipation for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 is building, and cricket enthusiasts worldwide are eager to see how teams will shape their lineups for this prestigious tournament. Former India National Cricket Team batter Mohammad Kaif recently shared his vision for India’s playing XI, sparking discussions among fans and analysts. Kaif’s selection included established stars and potential newcomers, offering insights into the team’s strategy and approach for the tournament.
In a recent statement, Mohammad Kaif unveiled his preferred playing XI for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, highlighting the careful balance between experience and potential. His lineup reflects the intricate decision-making of selecting a squad capable of clinching the coveted title.
Kaif’s selection maintains the dominance of India’s top order, with Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, and Virat Kohli securing positions at numbers 1, 2, and 3, respectively. This trio, known for their exceptional batting prowess, forms the backbone of India’s batting lineup.
Kaif acknowledged Shreyas Iyer’s and KL Rahul’s imminent return from injuries, indicating that they will slot in at numbers 4 and 5, respectively. Iyer’s return will bolster the middle order, while Rahul’s versatility as a batsman provides the team’s composition flexibility.
“Shreyas Iyer is injured, KL Rahul is recovering. I hope they will all return to the side (in time for the World Cup). So all this talk about new players coming into the side (for the World Cup), they will not get a chance in the team. Your (Team India’s) XI is all set. Iyer, when he returns, will play at No. 4. You have Shubman Gill and skipper Rohit Sharma (as openers), at No. 3 you have Virat Kohli, at No. 4 you have (Shreyas) Iyer, at No. 5 you have KL Rahul” said Kaif, as quoted by PTI.
Kaif chose Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja for the all-round positions, recognizing their ability to contribute with both bat and ball. Including two dynamic all-rounders adds depth to India’s playing XI and enhances the team’s strategic options.
Axar Patel or Shardul Thakur find a place at number 8 based on pitch conditions in the middle and lower order. This decision showcases the team’s adaptability and readiness to tailor their lineup to suit the situation.
Mohammad Kaif’s selection for the bowling department includes spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Mohammed Shami, accompanied by the formidable duo of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj. This quartet constitutes a formidable attack capable of taking on any opposition and dictating terms on the field.
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“Hardik Pandya at 6, (Ravindra) Jadeja at No.7, Axar Patel or Shardul Thakur will play at No.8 depending on the condition (of the pitch). At No.9, you will have Kuldeep Yadav… he has a good ODI record, and at No. 10 and 11, you will have the two fast bowlers Mohammed Shami and Bumrah. Even Siraj might not find a place in the XI. So, when it will be difficult to accommodate Siraj, then the new players we are talking about, they might not get the opportunity in this World Cup,” said Kaif.
Kaif’s lineup does not include premier pacer Mohammed Siraj. This omission is notable considering Siraj’s impressive performances and his rise to the top of the ICC ODI Bowling Rankings. The decision highlights the depth of talent available and the challenges of selecting the final XI from a pool of exceptional players.
Kaif underlined that while there may be discussions about including new faces in the team for the West Indies series, the focus remains on fielding a seasoned lineup for the World Cup. He mentioned that players like Sanju Samson, Ishan Kishan, and Suryakumar Yadav could feature in the squad as they have consistently performed.
“If at all there will be someone in the squad, it would be Sanju Samson, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav because they have been playing for many years. The new faces people are talking about are only for this (West Indies) tour. When the Asia Cup and the World Cup are played, then only the senior-most players will play.” Kaif concluded.
Mohammad Kaif’s India XI For World Cup: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel/ Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah.