Why India is not the hot favourite to win the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup

Why India is not the hot favourite to win the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup

Why India is not the hot favourite to win the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup

In contrast to the general consensus, the journey to lift their third ODI Worldcup title for Team India will not be as easy as it looks. This article will dwell on reasons why India is not the hot favourite to win the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup.

Is there a need for Indian Cricket fans to worry?


Presented By Raghunath Nair

Date: 31/07/2023


India a 1.4 billion strong nation will have their hopes high to see Rohit Sharma and the Indian Cricket Team lift their third ODI World Cup title.

A sport more popular than any in the country, cricket is not just a game but treated like a religion with a huge fan following impartial to the format the game is played at.

India won its first ICC tournament in 1983 (ODI World Cup) and has since won the Champions Trophy twice, T20 World Cup and the ODI World Cup in 2011.

Since 2013, India has not won any ICC trophy while they have been finalists at the last 2 Test Championships held. India will surely hope to break this dry spell with Rohit Sharma at the helm in the 2023 World Cup.

The battle for the ICC title will begin on October 15th.  The 2023 edition will follow the 2019 edition wherein all 10 teams will play each team and the top 4 teams will play the semifinals followed by the finals on November 19th.

Why India may not be the favourites

India will definitely have an added extra advantage of playing in home conditions and the last time India played the world cup in home conditions, they lifted the world cup in 2011 under the leadership of MS Dhoni

India in the past has been an unbeatable force in home conditions. But will they have a considerable advantage this time around? Do they have a team similar to the quality of the 2011 edition?

Indian teams have faltered in the final stages of major ICC tournaments

Why India may not be the favourites

The reason for their inability to win ICC tournaments can be blamed on making strategic mistakes at the planning stage, team selections and more importantly the burden of expectations players carry of fans.  Decision made in important matches clearly shows a cluttered mindset and sometimes even defies basic commonsense. 

Lack of 50 over experience

The upcoming World Cup is a 50-over format and due to its lack of viewership, the commercially run BCCI opts to play the T20 format more than the longer formats. So, the Lack of quality 50 over format played before a major ICC Event could prove a factor in this 2023 edition.

India Team 2011 vs India Team 2023

Team Indian team of 2011 was a consistent one and the playing eleven hardly saw any change unless it was due to an injury to a player. Even the replacement player matched the skills and ability which proved to be a factor to win the tournament. India team 2023 lacks the quality and is struggling to play a steady playing eleven.

India Team 2011 vs India Team 2023

Opening and middle-order Batting 

Is it Ishan and Rohit?  or is it Shubman and Rohit? Or will it be KL Rahul and Rohit? India still hasn’t decided on their opening options. Middle order over relies on Virat Kohli and a fragile Hardik Pandya who is expected to play the 2011 Yuvraj Singh role in 2023. All other teams have a set playing eleven

The No. 6 Batsman in the team is missing. This is due to the injury to Shreyas Iyer.

Opening and middle-order Batting

Lack of Quality Pace Bowlers

The 2-3 seamers in the playing eleven is also a mystery. From a pool of Shardul Thakur, Mukesh Kumar, Mohammad Shami, Arshdeep Singh and Jaspreet Bumrah (if fit by then), India has to choose 2 or 3 to take care of the power play and death bowling. This will be tricky. Players who played for India in the playing eleven 6 months ago are not even spoken of or part of the current squad.

Confused Think Tank

Rahul Dravid has been an average head coach for India and while he has been hiding behind the excuse of the team in a building phase, he will run out of excuses if India does not make it to the Finals. Confused team selection and unsure cricket tactics have been the reason for not having a stable playing eleven and backup players.

Confused Think Tank

Players selected based on T20 Performances

The inconsistency in building up a strong India team in any format over the years has been due to the wrong selection process. Players who did well domestically tend to get ignored while IPL performers are given berths in the team in ODI and Test Formats.

Players selected based on T20 Performances

Old players playing the young man’s game

Indian players have traditionally shown reluctance to retire from the game even after they cross their prime both in age and form. BCCI too do not push the envelope and allow the player to take the call themselves and this delays young deserving players from joining the playing eleven.  In the current squad, there are more than 3 to 4 players who are in their late 30s.

Old players playing the young man’s game

Players are more stars than performers

Indian Players after a great IPL season or after a very short period of time in the Indian team have celebrity status and maintain their celebrity status more off the field than on the field. Social media keeps them in the news and they enjoy being in the team despite mediocre performance.

Players who play in multiple formats stand to retain their position in the team on the basis of their performance in other formats. For e.g., a player who is playing poorly in ODI tends is not dropped over the performance of his good T20 performance.

Players are more stars than performers

Indian Players and the BCCI wants all format players

BCCI and Indian Cricket have not still adopted the strategy of having exclusive T20, ODI and Test Team Players. Except for a few, players tend to get selected in all formats. These players also play the IPL which leads to fatigue in the system.

Packed Cricket calendar and Fatigued Players

Indian team loves to play international fixtures, especially in subcontinental conditions against weaker teams and during this time seniors and players struggling with form do not take breaks and prefer to play against weaker teams. India plays the maximum number of Tests and T20 fixtures than any other cricket-playing nation which leads to fatigue and frequent breakdowns. The current squad is missing 4-5 regulars in the playing eleven due to this.

Unfit Players

Indian team tend to have the maximum injuries in their squad. Hardik Pandya with his all-round capabilities is the most important player in the Indian team. He is prone to injury and in case he gets injured during the tournament, the Indian team’s balance in the Worldcup is disturbed as there is no like-to-like replacement for the Gujarat Titans Skipper.

Rohit Sharma, Shardul Thakur are often criticized for their excess weight

 Absence of some Key names

KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Jaspreet Bumrah and India’s proven match-winner in the past few years, Rishab Pant have all been nursing Injuries and may not be available for the Worldcup.

Absence of some Key names

The inability of the Indian Team to play spin

Barring 2 batsmen, the current Indian team is one of the worst when it comes to playing spin especially off-spin and left-arm orthodox. Opposition teams will know this glaring flaw in the Indian batting lineup and will take full advantage

Current Form

The Current ODI form of the Indian team is very poor. They are currently struggling in the ODI Series in West Indies, a team who has not even qualified for the championship.

No Set playing Eleven

Unlike the 2011 team, this team after the arrival of coach Rahul Dravid makes unnecessary changes in the playing eleven almost in every game. While there are very few ODI games available before the World Cup, the set players are given rest which defies logic. The second ODI against West Indies saw Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma rest, the game, India lost to a team which did not even qualify for the World Cup.

Foreign players more comfortable with Indian Conditions due to IPL

With the success of IPL, all the best limited-over players across the globe descend to the Indian subcontinent to play the richest Franchise sport every year playing in multiple locations across India. Having experience in playing at the World Cup venues will now negate the element of surprise, a big advantage Team India had in the past.

Lack of the third spinner option

Spinners play a huge role in the balance of a team and India is yet to finalise their two or three spinners who will consistently play in the playing eleven. Ravichandran Ashwin, one of the world’s leading spinners struggles to be in the playing eleven. Ravindra Jadeja is not an effective 10 overs bowler and India Struggles to pick their third spinner consistently

Kuldeep Yadav has been with the team for a long time in the squad but hardly has any match/game time.

A different format – Different Coaches

The inability to adopt modern coaching and have different coaches has led India to not have specialists in different formats. While Different Coaches in different formats have been adopted by good teams, India is yet to think along these lines.

Mr Nilesh Dadpe, another cricket Enthusiast has echoed a similar sentiment –

“Batting lineup can’t perform under pressure in crucial matches. Lack of bowling depth- if Bumrah has an off day, you are plundered for runs. Hardik Pandya as an all-rounder option does not ooze confidence to bowl 10 overs and effectively bat when the chips are down at say 50 for 4 wickets”


With the constant team changes, the team has never played with a set playing eleven for a long time. This has allowed the team not perform as a cohesive unit.

While there is an expectation to repeat our 2011 Indian team’s achievement, the 2023 India campaign may come as a huge disappointment if drastic measures are not taken to salvage the situation.


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