Cricket World Cup: What could India’s 2023 squad look like?
Will these Indian cricketers feature at the 2023 World Cup?

After losing to eventual winners Australia four years ago in the 2015 World Cup semi-finals, the current Indian cricket team under Virat Kohli was viewed as serious title contenders for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in England this summer.

Ranked No 2 in ODIs, Kohli’s Indian cricket team won seven of eight completed league matches (one was washed out) to enter the World Cup semi-finals as points table toppers, but then lost to New Zealand by 18 runs in a semi-final spread over two days on account of rain.

This dashed the hopes of countless Indian fans, and as happens with the end of each World Cup, the focus shifted towards building towards the next edition. The 2023 World Cup will be played in India, and on that note let’s take a look at how many of the current squad could be around in four years.

(READ: Rampaging Rohit, brilliant Bumrah light up India’s strong World Cup run)

Of India’s squad for the 2019 World Cup, seven are aged 30 and above while another, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, will turn 30 in February 2020. Jasprit Bumrah (25), Hardik Pandya (25), KL Rahul (26), Mayank Agarwal (28), Vijay Shankar (28), Yuzvendra Chahal (28) and Mohammed Shami (28) are under 30. Two players, Rishabh Pant (21) and Kuldeep Yadav (24), are under the age of 25.

MS Dhoni, who turned 37 this month during the tournament, has played his last World Cup and his future as an Indian cricket is in its final stages.

rohit sharma virat kohli icc cricket world cup 2019
Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli could be India’s main batsmen in 2023 too. © AFP

Those who we can safely assume will not be playing for India in four years are Kedar Jadhav, currently 34, and Dinesh Karthik, who is nearing 34.

When the next World Cup starts on February 9, 2023, Kohli will be 34. Rohit Sharma, who top-scored in this World Cup with 648 runs and scored a record five centuries, will be a couple months shy of turning 36. His opening partner Shikhar Dhawan, 33, will have turned 37.

(READ: Shikhar Dhawan, Vijay Shankar report at NCA for rehabilitation)

Given the number of matches played across formats, the IPL and the fact that very Indian cricketers have been able to extend their international careers beyond the age of 35, it is likely that Dhawan may also have played his last World Cup. Rohit will have to keep himself in prime shape to be around in four years, while with the incredibly fit Kohli it can be said that he will be be around, barring any major injury setbacks.

Jasprit Bumrah Mohammed Shami World Cup 2019
While Bumrah should be India’s spearhead in 2023, Shami is not a certainty. © AFP

Bumrah, ranked No 1 in ODIs, has plenty of years left in him as does Pandya, the most exciting India allrounder since Yuvraj Singh. Agarwal, uncapped in ODIs, is 28 and has a promising India career ahead of him. His good friend and Karnataka team-mate Rahul will be 30 in four years and should be a candidate for the World Cup.

(READ: Kohli and Rohit are mature guys, no truth in rift speculation – Gambhir)

Jadeja is another very fit cricketer and it is foreseeable that he is around in 2023, providing he keeps taking wickets in Test cricket and the IPL to keep the selectors interested in him for ODIs.  Spin will be a big factor in India four years from now, so the wrist-spinning pair of Chahal and Kuldeep could easily feature again.

Fast bowlers have the shortest life span in international cricket, and so Bhuvneshwar, who will turn 34 four days before the 2023 World Cup, is another to be watched carefully. Shami has a history of injuries, and after successfully reviving his Test and ODI career with a superb run in 2018 he will have designs on playing one more World Cup, but if he will need to stay injury-free.

Beyond the squad for the 2019 World Cup, there are several young Indian cricketers with promising futures ahead, some of all of whom could feature at the next edition in fours years. The likes of Khaleel Ahmed, Shubman Gill, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer, Shivam Mavi, Shivam Dube, Ishan Kishan and Avesh Khan are just a few bright talents who have either played a few matches for India across formats or who are tipped to break into the senior side.