The 2023 World Cup is set to commence on October 5. India’s opening match in the tournament is scheduled against the five-time champions Australia on October 8. Preceding the 2023 World Cup, the Indian team is presently engaged in a home series against Australia, with the first game of the series currently in progress in Mohali.
For the 2023 World Cup, India has assembled a robust 15-man squad. Fortunately for the selection committee, all primary players, excluding Rishabh Pant, were accessible for consideration. The batting and bowling departments appear robust on paper, complemented by the presence of dependable all-rounders, indicating that India has a well-rounded squad.
Nevertheless, the fielding aspect hasn’t been up to par in recent games. India encountered issues with dropped catches during the Asia Cup 2023, particularly against Nepal and Bangladesh.
Despite having some world-class fielders, there are three players in particular who need to enhance their fielding skills in preparation for the 2023 World Cup.
#1 KL Rahul
KL Rahul holds the position of India’s preferred wicketkeeper for the 2023 World Cup. During an interview, Rahul expressed that catching is the sole skill in cricket that doesn’t rely on luck. He made this remark in a conversation with Ranveer Allahbadia:
“Not good. It is the only thing I feel in sport that doesn’t need any luck. It is pure practice. You can see the ball coming to you. You have enough time to react. It’s a thankless job for bowlers,” KL Rahul said.
Rahul has had some remarkable catches in his cricketing career. However, in recent months, his wicketkeeping skills have been less consistent. He missed what appeared to be a straightforward catch in an ODI series against Bangladesh last year, and during the ongoing ODI against Australia, he couldn’t capitalize on a run-out opportunity.
#2 Mohammed Shami
While fast bowler Mohammed Shami is renowned for his wicket-taking prowess and ranks among India’s top wicket-takers in ICC events, his fielding track record has at times disappointed fans.
In a notable incident during the T20 World Cup 2022 semifinal against England, Shami prevented the ball from reaching the boundary in the deep. However, rather than returning it to the bowler or wicketkeeper’s end, Shami chose to pass it to the next fielder, who failed to make the catch.
As a result of this comical error, England gained two extra runs. Shami will be looking to significantly enhance his fielding performance in the 2023 World Cup.
#3 Shreyas Iyer
Shreyas Iyer, a key middle-order batsman in the Indian squad, has recently made a comeback following an extended injury hiatus. However, it appears that he needs to invest substantial effort in refining his fielding abilities in preparation for the 2023 World Cup.
Iyer experienced a lapse in fielding during the Asia Cup contest against Nepal. Moreover, in the first ODI that took place today, September 22, he missed a catch from David Warner. It’s evident that the accomplished Indian batsman has room for improvement in his fielding skills ahead of the World Cup.