KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer have shrugged off injury concerns to make it to India’s 15-member squad for the 2023 ICC Men’s ODI World Cup.

The Indian squad will be led by captain Rohit Sharma with Hardik Pandya serving as his deputy. Shubman Gill and Virat Kohli will be India’s top order batters along with Sharma.

The middle order batters in the squad feature Rahul, Iyer, Pandya, Ishan Kishan and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja. Rahul and Kishan are also India’s wicket-keeping options.

Even as Rahul made the squad, Rohit Sharma was coy about his place in the XI after months sidelined by injury.

Rahul will be in contention along with fellow wicket-keeper batter Ishan Kishan, who hit a defiant 82 against Pakistan at the ongoing Asia Cup.

“We have said earlier that problems like these are good, that boys are fighting for spots,” Sharma told reporters in a press conference following the squad announcement.

“We will have to see who is in form and who is the opposition to face. All this will be calculated and the best XI will be picked,” he added.

The 31-year-old Rahul has not played any competitive cricket since he was injured during the Indian Premier League in May.

He was picked in the Asia Cup squad for Sri Lanka but missed the opening two matches with a niggle unrelated to his original thigh injury.

“As long as everyone’s available and fit to play, the selection depends on the opposition we play, current form, players who have done well under pressure, those things do matter,” said Sharma.

Talking about Kishan grabbing his opportunities, the captain said, “For Ishan’s confidence the last match he played was brilliant – under pressure, batting at number five for the first time, (being a) left-hander gives us another dimension.”

Meanwhile, Pandya, who led India in the second and third ODIs against West Indies in the absence of rested Rohit and has now often led the squad in the shortest format will be a key player. In the match against Pakistan at the Asia Cup, he top-scored with 87 to guide India out of a precarious position.

“His form will be crucial to us. He’s a guy who does both the things (batting and bowling), and that’s important,” said Sharma.

“In the last year or so he has come up with the bat and his bowling has been good too. That’s important for us,

Meanwhile, the pace bowling attack, which will be led by Jasprit Bumrah, also features Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami and Shardul Thakur. Wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav and left-arm spinner Axar Patel are India’s spin bowling options with Ravindra Jadeja.

However, wicket-keeper Sanju Samson, Tilak Verma and pace bowler Prasidh Krishna have missed the cut for the squad. The trio are with the Indian team in Sri Lanka at the ongoing Asia Cup 2023.

“We’re happy. This is the best we can do with balance and depth. We have three all-rounders in the team, 4 bowlers and six batters,” said Sharma about the composition of the squad.

“We have thought about it a lot and named this squad. This is the best combination for us,” he added.

India’s squad: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya (vc), Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, and Mohammed Siraj

With inputs from AFP