The incredible conveyor belt of Indian cricketing talent ensures that whenever another major competition comes around, India have the ideal mix of star quality and strength in depth to rank as one of the favorites. The 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup will be no different in that regard, although there is one feature about this tournament that will be particularly special for Indian cricketers: it will take place in India.
Hot prospects on the fringes of the India ODI side will be desperately hoping to establish themselves before the home World Cup rolls around. A look at the ODI player batting rankings at icc-cricket.com reveals the high level they will be hoping to reach. As of July 16th, 2020, Virat Kohli sits atop the batting rankings, just ahead of compatriot Rohit Sharma in second place. Kohli will be 34-years-old in the 2023 World Cup, and Sharma will be 36. Both players should still be at the top of their respective games, but may view the 2023 tournament as their ODI swansong.
The expected involvement of Kohli and Sharma is a big reason why, as of July 16th, India are 5/2 favorites with comeon-india.com to lift the 2023 World Cup. However, the two veteran superstars will need an able and energetic supporting cast if India are to fulfil their favorite tag and fend off challenges from England and Australia. That youthful zest could come from two men born in 1999, Shubman Gill and Prithvi Shaw.
Gill’s two ODI appearances against New Zealand in January 2019 underwhelmed, but they certainly won’t be the last chances for this talented prospect. Many of Gill’s starring performances have come in the Ranji Trophy, including one incredible knock of 268, but he has shown plenty of potential in limited-overs cricket. Gill was named Player of the Series as India triumphed in the 2018 Under-19 Cricket World Cup, while in November 2019 he became the youngest player to captain a side in the Deodhar Trophy. Whose record did he beat? Virat Kohli.
Shaw has appeared in the India ODI side more recently than Gill, appearing in three matches against New Zealand in February 2020. A knock of 40 showed promise, but there is surely (or should that be Shaw-ly?) more to come from this batsman in the next few years. Shaw made the cut at thecricketmonthly.com among 20 cricketers expected to shine in the 2020s, with Varun Shetty suggesting that Shaw could become a ‘ruthless, dominant batsman’ across all formats of the game.
The article also states Shaw’s greatest ambition as winning the World Cup with India. Gill makes the list too, with his ambition to play a big part in a World Cup success for the senior side. 2023 won’t be their last opportunity to realize this dream, but Shaw and Gill will want to play starring roles on home soil. A lot could change before the World Cup arrives in India, so this exciting duo will be hoping to establish themselves in the ODI side as quickly as possible.
Indian selectors may be looking to Gill and Shaw as two players that could firstly supplement the quality of Kohli and Sharma, then ultimately take over their responsibilities as the side’s leading batsmen. 2023 could bring Kohli and Sharma the international send-off they deserve, as the baton gets passed to a new generation of Indian cricketers.