With the 2023 ODI World Cup scheduled for October 5-November 19 in India, fans will be gearing up for some exciting cricket bonanza and entertainment. The spotlight will be on the hosts, who despite always boasting a strong team, have failed to win a single ICC trophy since 2013.
Over the years, India have come close to adding another ICC trophy in their cabinet, but have often faced defeats in semi-finals. One of the reasons for India’s issues in recent ICC tournaments is their middle order conundrum. Their middle order batters have failed to deliver in crucial situations and have faced plenty of criticism. In the T20 World Cup last year too, India crashed out of the semi-finals, losing to eventual winners England.
Speaking to Star Sports, former Australia cricketer Matthew Hayden decided to pick his India squad for the upcoming World Cup and he had few surprise inclusions. The Aussie legend picked five batters in the guise of Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer and Suryakumar Yadav. Meanwhile, he added three wicket-keepers; picking KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan and Sanju Samson.
A two-time World Cup winner, Hayden named Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel as his three all-rounders. Jadeja and Axar will also serve as the spin options. Also, he picked Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami and Shardul Thakur as the seamers. It is interesting to note that Hayden hasn’t included Kuldeep Yadav in his squad, who has been selected for the Asia Cup, and he has also selected out-of-favour Sanju Samson.
Recently, Hayden also analysed India’s issues in ICC events. Speaking to PTI, he said, “It’s certainly not a question of skill. So, it has to be a question of just the opportunity and the mindset going in. I mean, cricket is life here, it is the DNA of sport and has no other competitors. In Australia I could walk down the street and largely be unrecognised, especially with this terrible beard and hat on (laughs). But it’s also got great competitive sports besides cricket. Rugby, football, our watersports, surfing, outdoor sports, here in India it’s very insular and there’s a lot of pressure.”