India’s preparations for the upcoming ODI World Cup are in full swing as they aim to reclaim the trophy on home soil. With less than three months to go, the focus is on fine-tuning the team and strategies. India, who last won the World Cup in 2011, will be looking to rectify their quarterfinal (2015) and semifinal (2019) exits in the previous editions.
As hosts, India will have the advantage of playing in familiar conditions, making them one of the favorites to lift the trophy. In line with their preparations, the Indian team is set to play a three-match ODI series against West Indies later this month. The squad for the matches has been announced, with the inclusion of Sanju Samson and Ruturaj Gaikwad, who have been recalled for the ODIs.
Sanju Samson, along with Ishan Kishan, is one of the two wicketkeeper-batsmen in the 17-man squad. However, the former chairman of BCCI selectors, MSK Prasad, has ruled out Samson playing in the middle order due to the presence of Suryakumar Yadav. Prasad suggests that Samson, being a top-order batter, could be tried as an opener alongside captain Rohit Sharma.
“There won’t be a competition between Sanju Samson and Suryakumar Yadav. Sanju is a top-order batter and Surya is a middle-order number 4 and number 5 batter. You may see Sanju Samson opening alongside Rohit Sharma,” MSK Prasad stated.
While the prospect of Samson opening with Rohit looks promising, the presence of Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan, and Ruturaj Gaikwad in the touring party makes it challenging to accommodate Samson in the opening slot. Samson last played an ODI during the New Zealand tour in 2022.
Prasad also expressed the belief that India needs to find the finishing touch to end their 10-year-long wait for an ICC trophy. He highlighted the importance of achieving that final breakthrough and mentioned that New Zealand has faced a similar struggle in reaching the finishing stages of ICC events. Prasad remains optimistic about India’s chances in the next World Cup.
“It is unfortunate that despite playing good cricket in ICC events, we are empty-handed. India just needs that one finishing touch to be champions, and definitely in the next World Cup, we will get there,” MSK Prasad affirmed.