ICC Cricket World Cup 2023: Sunil Gavaskar Picks India’s Playing XI for Australia Clash

Last Updated: September 29, 2023, 09:28 IST

India recently defeated Australia in a three-match ODI series. (AP Photo)

India recently defeated Australia in a three-match ODI series. (AP Photo)

Sunil Gavaskar has picked five specialist batters, two allrounders and four specialise bowlers.

India will open their ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 campaign against Australia on October 8 in Chennai. The two teams squared off in a three-match ODI series that concluded earlier this week giving them a final chance to tune-up ahead of the showpiece.

India on Thursday evening announced their final 15-man squad for the tournament with one big change. Ravichandran Ashwin has replaced Axar Patel who is injured and thus missed the bus having made the cut in the initial squad.

Batting legend Sunil Gavaskar has picked his India playing XI for their world cup opener against Australia.

“In any team, the top-three batters are quite important. A good start from the openers helps the others that follow to play freely. The contribution from the opening pair is going to crucial,” Gavaskar said on Star Sports.

Gavaskar has gone with three seamers and two spinners in Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav.

“You may pick three fast bowlers – Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah. If they want to go with two seamers since they already have Hardik Pandya then an extra spinner can be included. You can have Ashwin in the eleven,” he said.

Irfan Pathan agreed with the top-seven but added that India must play five proper bowlers since they may have to bowl under the lights meaning the dew factor will become an issue.

“I agree with the top-seven. (But) I want the Indian team to go with proper five bowlers,” Pathan said. “You have Hardik as sixth bowler but you should go with bowlers having wicket-taking abilities. The pitches you will get now, there’s a possibility of dew so then you need to have a solid bowling throughout the world cup.”

“So go with main bowlers be it three fast bowlers that include Siraj, Shami and Bumrah. If you want someone to team up with Kuldeep Yadav then go with a proper bowler in Jadeja if it’s on a turning track. Go with proper bowlers who only think about wickets. Your top-7 batters can take care of the runs,” he added.

Sunil Gavaskar’s Playing XI: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah.

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