Hardik Pandya was named as vice-captain of the squad, to be led by Rohit Sharma.
India picked seven batters, four bowlers and four all-rounders as both KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan were named in the squad.
Addressing a press conference with chairman of selectors Ajit Agarkar in Kandy, captain Rohit Sharma said, “Hardik Pandya is a complete package, his form will be crucial for us at World Cup.”
“Keep your chin up, be ready for next opportunity,” was Rohit’s advice to players who missed out
“Form of players, challenge posed by opposition team will dictate playing XI for the day. We have picked best possible combination. We have depth in batting, we have spin and other bowling options. Hardik Pandya is a complete package, his form will be crucial for us at World Cup,” Rohit added.
Having received a clearance certificate on his fitness from the NCA, KL Rahul was included in the squad and he is set to join the team in Sri Lanka for the Asia Cup.
Chairman of selectors Ajit Agarkar had reached Pallekele on Saturday, and it is understood that he held discussions with captain Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid post India’s match against Pakistan, which was abandoned due to rain.
Ishan Kishan will be the second wicketkeeper in the side and his composed 81 against Pakistan on Saturday was the clincher.
It means that Sanju Samson misses out on an India berth. Samson is in Sri Lanka with the Indian team as a travelling reserve.
Agarkar had made it clear that Rahul will be the primary wicket-keeping option in the team who bats at No. 5. But it was learnt that Rahul’s major concern was squatting while keeping wickets. The nature of his hamstring injury was such that it has taken a longer than expected for him to be fit enough to keep wickets for 50 overs.
The Indian team management is thin on resources when it comes to middle-order batting and wicketkeepers. In this scenario, Ishan Kishan becomes crucial to the set-up.
Shardul Thakur too found a place in the World Cup squad. The Indian team has been worried about its batting depth in ODI cricket. Thakur adds that depth to batting even though it will come at the cost of a genuine wicket-taking third pacer.
Suryakumar Yadav too has found a place in the squad despite his less than satisfactory outings in the ODIs.
In batting apart from skipper Rohit, players like Virat Kohli, Shubman Gill and Shreyas Iyer were automatic picks. Hence, Tilak Varma found no place in the squad.
Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj and Mohammed Shami will handle the pace department along with all-rounders Hardik Pandya and Shardul Thakur.
So, Prasidh Krishna, who is part of the India squad for the Asia Cup, does not feature in the World Cup squad.
The spin unit will be led by left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav, who has been in fine fettle this year.
Kuldeep is India’s highest wicket-taker in ODIs in 2023, taking 22 wickets in 11 matches. Kuldeep and Ravindra Jadeja will be India’s two first-choice spinners.
Veterans R Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal missed the cut.
India’s provisional squad for World Cup 2023: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Axar Patel, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav
(With PTI inputs)