Several uncapped players on this list.
It won’t be much wrong to say that the relevance of ODI cricket has somewhat gone down after the 2019 World Cup. The international cricket calendar has majorly been dominated by T20Is and Test matches due to back-to-back T20 World Cups and ICC World Test Championship. Owing to the same, we don’t see five-match ODI series very often nowadays.
However, international teams can’t afford to show complacency in ODI assignments with the 2023 Cricket World Cup being just a couple of years away. The global tournament will take place in India, and all participating teams would be raring to lift the prestigious title. With India being the host of the competition, expectations would be sky-high from them. Also, Team India is one of the strongest teams going around.
Current skipper Virat Kohli is all but likely to lead Team India in the global event and he’ll have a point to prove. After all, he was part of India’s side which won the 2011 World Cup on home soil. Although skipper Virat Kohli is arguably the best batter going around, he’ll need other players to assist him. Fortunately for Kohli and the Indian team management, the nation doesn’t have any shortage of world-class players.
Meanwhile, let’s look at 10 Players Virat Kohli should be back for the 2023 ODI World Cup
1. Devdutt Padikkal
This name might already be on Virat Kohli’s radar. After all, Padikkal plays for Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021. Since the past couple of seasons, the southpaw has been one of the most prolific run-scorers in India’s domestic circuit. The opener has a solid technique and his ability to find gaps makes him an even greater asset.
As far as Padikkal’s temperament is concerned, the dasher seems to have an obsession with three-figure scores. During the Vijay Hazare Trophy earlier this year, Padikkal became the first batter to score four consecutive centuries in List-A cricket. The 21-year-old even enjoyed a fruitful time at the Indian Premier League.
In 21 outings for RCB, Padikkal scored 668 runs with his average and strike rate being over 33 and 130 respectively. He even has a century in the competition. In July this year, Padikkal received his maiden Team India cap during the T20I series against Sri Lanka. Hence, Virat Kohli has all the reasons to keep this talented lad in World Cup plans.
2. Prasidh Krishna
Gone are those days when India had a shortage of tearaway fast bowlers. The modern crop of Indian pacers can set the speed gun on fire and nail yorkers and bouncers as well. Karnataka pacer Prasidh Krishna also belongs to this category. The right-arm fast bowler can clock good speeds and his tall height helps him extract extra bounce from the surface.
Krishna has been playing for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) since the 2018 season and has gained a significant amount of experience. The pacer also seems to get only better with time as he delivered one stunning spell after another in this year’s Vijay Hazare Trophy. His hard work and grind in the domestic circuit eventually paid off as Krishna received his maiden Team India cap earlier this year.
He made a mark straightaway by delivering a fiery spell against England. Krishna became the first Indian to take a four-wicket haul on ODI debut and that too against England’s daunting batting line-up. Hence, Kohli must back him for the global event.
3. Prithvi Shaw
Now, this name was as obvious as daylight. Prithvi Shaw is one of the best Under-22 batters going around and expectations are sky-high from him. Hailed as the modern-day Virender Sehwag, Shaw can attack bowlers from the outset, and staying at the crease isn’t a major concern for him either.
The 21-year-old prodigy has also proved his mettle against the best bowlers in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and in some international games. Shaw, in fact, slammed a Test century on his Test debut in 2018. This shows the dasher has the caliber to shine in national colours. Notably, the batsman, at times, has also been accused of being reckless.
However, Shaw is just 21 at the moment and one can expect him to get better with time and experience. Kohli must be aware of this fact and hence, he must focus on how Shaw performs in his assignments.
4. Kamlesh Nagarkoti
Next on this list is Rajasthan-born Kamlesh Nagarkoti. If one may recall the 2018 Under-19 World Cup, Nagarkoti hogged a lot of limelight with his thunderbolts. The right-arm pacer constantly breached the 145-kmph mark and the cricket world was left shocked. He also was instrumental in taking India to the title.
Notably, Nagarkoti is also a handy batter lower down the order. Hence, many expected him to take rapid strides. However, persistent injuries came in his way as he couldn’t play consistent cricket after the showpiece event. Nevertheless, Nagarkoti is just 21 and time is on his side. Hence, he can work on his body to be prepared for the highest level.
With Hardik Pandya being prone to injuries, having a quality backup fast-bowling all-rounder would be an absolute plus for the Indian team. Hence, Kohli must back Nagarkoti for the 2023 World Cup. Meanwhile, Kamlesh plays for Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL.
5. Ravi Bishnoi
Leg-spin wasn’t so much in fashion a decade ago. However, it has almost become a necessity to thrive in white-ball cricket nowadays. Seldom, you will see a successful white-ball team not having a leg-spinner. Owing to the same, Team India should also shortlist their crop of potent leg-spinners for the 2023 ODI World Cup.
Ravi Bishnoi should be one of the first games on this list. The Punjab-born leggie has been magnificent so far in his career and many are backing him to go a long way. Bishnoi can turn the ball a long way and the bucket of variations in his arsenal makes him even more lethal.
Notably, the youngster first burst onto the scenes in the 2021 Under-19 World Cup where he took 17 wickets in six games, most for any bowler in the tournament. Extending his stellar run, Bishnoi delivered some stellar spells for Punjab Kings (PBKS) in IPL as well. Hence, the team management and selector should keep him in the radar.
6. Rahul Chahar
From one talented leg-spinner, we move to another as Rahul Chahar is next on this list. Chahar’s time with Mumbai Indians has really helped him grow as many prominent batters have struggled against his mysterious deliveries. The leggie isn’t a massive turner of the ball but relies on his variation to trouble opposition.
Instead of giving flight to deliveries, Chahar likes to dart the ball in the stumps and this approach has worked for him so far. As a result, the leg-spinner tends to take regular wickets without leaking a lot of runs. In fact, his economy rate after 38 IPL games is just 7.41. He has also done reasonably well in the limited chances for Team India.
Many even believe that the 22-year-old should be a regular part of India’s upcoming assignment. Several batters have even batted for his position in the T20 World Cup 2021 squad. Hence, there are extremely high chances of Rahul featuring in India’s 2023 World Cup squad.
7. Kuldeep Yadav
It can’t be denied that Kuldeep has somehow lost his sheen in recent times. The left-arm wrist-spinner hasn’t either been able to control the run flow or pick wickets consistently. Owing to the same, he even got dropped from Kolkata Knight Riders’ playing XI in the Indian Premier League. However, one must not forget what Kuldeep is capable of.
At his prime, Kuldeep has troubled the best of batters with his mysterious deliveries. He, in fact, is the only India to take two hat-tricks in One-Day Internationals. Hence, Virat must back Kuldeep to unleash his A-game and win matches for India as he did in 2017-18.
Notably, left-arm wrist spinners are still rare. Hence, Kuldeep’s presence in the team provides variety to the bowling attack. This is another reason why the selectors should be patient with the talented bowler.
8. Deepak Chahar
Rahul Chahar’s cousin Deepak has all attributes to thrive in white-ball cricket and the team management must beware of the fact. Although the right-arm pacer isn’t known to clock high speeds, he can move the new ball both ways to trouble batters up front. He has several variations and an impeccable yorker to make a mark in the death overs.
In fact, the best figures in T20I cricket also belongs to Deepak Chahar. He took 6/7 against Bangladesh in 2019 which also includes a stunning hat-trick. As far as Chahar’a other skills are concerned, the fast bowler is a more than handy batter lower down the order.
Now, who forget his brilliant 69 against Sri Lanka in July this year. Coming to bat at number, India took to victory from a place where their loss seemed inevitable. These factors should be enough for Virat Kohli to back Chahar.
9. Riyan Parag
Unlike most of his contemporaries, Riyan Parag isn’t known to be a dasher but he instead likes to go about his business with flair. Parag puts a price on his wicket which allows him to stay at the crease for long. However, this doesn’t mean the youngster can’t score runs at a brisk pace.
Despite being a top-order batter naturally, Parag has done a magnificent job batting at the middle-order for Rajasthan Royals in IPL. He often came at a crunch situation and delivered more often than not. Although he’s yet to set the IPL on fire, the 19-year-old will only get better with time. He certainly can be groomed for India’s middle-order in the future.
Not to forget, Parag can also chip in with his handy leg-spins which makes an even greater asset. Hence, Kohli should keep a tab on this lad as well.
10. Suraykumar Yadav
Last but not the least, Suryakumar Yadav also features on this list. After all, he has been on a roll for the last couple of years. Suryakumar’s long exile ended earlier this year where he was handed his maiden Team India cap during the T20I series against India. The dasher bagged the opportunity with both hands and slammed a sensational fifty on debut.
In fact, he smashed speedster Jofra Archer for a stunning six on the very first ball of his international career. This speaks a lot about his temperament. Hence, the Indian management should make optimum utilization of Yadav’s talent. Hailed as India’s AB de Villiers, Yadav can score runs all over the park.
The 30-year-old also doesn’t tend to lose his wicket while trying to up the ante. This breed of batters are rare and Kohli must be aware of the fact. Notably, Yadav received the Player-of-the-Series award in his maiden ODI assignment against Sri Lanka in July this year.