The eagerly awaited ICC ODI World Cup 2023 is just around the corner, set to kick off on October 5, 2023, and hosted by India. Under the captaincy of Rohit Sharma, Team India is gearing up for the prestigious tournament. However, Indian cricket fans will have to wait until October 8, 2023, for India’s first match, where they will face Australia at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.

Final 15-man squad announcement

Ahead of the World Cup, India finalized their 15-man squad, and it came with a significant change. Ravichandran Ashwin has been brought in to replace the injured Axar Patel, who was initially part of the squad but unfortunately missed the bus due to injury. This adjustment aims to bolster the team’s balance and strengthen their campaign.

India and Australia’s ODI Series: A crucial step towards preparation

As the World Cup approaches, both India and Australia had a final opportunity to fine-tune their preparations. They recently clashed in a three-game ODI series, which concluded with the hosts, India, clinching victory by a 2-1 margin. This series served as a valuable tune-up for both teams, allowing them to assess their form and strategy ahead of the showpiece event.

India’s warm-up matches ahead of the mega event

Before their much-anticipated clash against Australia on October 8th, the Indian cricket team has scheduled warm-up matches against England and Netherlands. These preparatory games will serve as crucial opportunities for the Men in Blue to fine-tune their strategies, assess player form, and adapt to the conditions in India.

Also READ: South Africa legend Jacques Kallis predicts the four semifinalists of ODI World Cup 2023

Sunil Gavaskar’s bowling combination

Cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar shared his insights into India’s playing XI for their World Cup opener against Australia. In his selection, Gavaskar opted for a combination of three seamers and two spinners, including Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav. Nevertheless, he also voiced his support for Ashwin’s inclusion in the starting XI, suggesting that the veteran off-spinner could find a place if India chooses to go with three spinners.

“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,” Gavaskar said to Star Sports speaking on their Youtube channel.

Gavaskar’s preferred batting lineup for India’s World Cup opener

Gavaskar further has shared his vision for India’s batting lineup for the opener against Australia. In his ideal lineup, he has chosen the top three consisting of Rohit, Shubman Gill and Virat Kohli, while the middle order features Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul. This strategic selection prioritizes experience, form, and stability, leaving out Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan for the Men in Blue’s inaugural fixture.

The Mumbai-born cricketer emphasized the critical role of the top three batters, highlighting that their contributions would provide the platform for the middle and lower order to play with freedom and confidence.

“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,” the 74-year-old added.

Gavaskar’s India XI for the CWC 2023 match against Australia:

Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah.

Also READ: ODI World Cup 2023: Here are complete squads of all 10 teams

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