World Cup 2023 Participating Countries and Their Records
DECCAN CHRONICLE | Indraneel Sen
Hyderabad: International cricket’s biggest tournament, ICC World Cup (ODI), starts on October 5. It will see the participation of 10 teams after a grueling qualification process, which saw cricketing heavy weight West Indies missing out on a participation berth.
The teams to have qualified are:
Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa and Sri Lanka.
Here is a round-up of the participating teams.
Two-time world champion, India, is the hosting nation for the tournament. In home conditions, India will be the clear favourites to lift the trophy.
India is in a twilight phase of its cricketing timeline, where two generations of stars are overlapping. While Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Ravichandran Ashwin are well into their mid-30s and have started the final phase of their career, the likes of Shubman Gill and Ishan Kishan are firmly touted as the stars of the future.
India enters this tournament with all bases covered. There is absolutely no chink in India’s armour. The recently concluded Asia Cup attested to that, where the men in blue demolished every team.
Sharma, Kohli, Gill and KL Rahul form an extremely strong batting core. Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj are in the top bracket of international fast bowlers. Similarly, Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja are high quality all rounders. Kuldeep Yadav and Ashwin form a dangerous spin bowling pair.
India should win this trophy, but unpredictable weather, injuries and other such unforeseen situations can play truant.
Five-time champion Australia is the most decorated team in this tournament. Known for its hard-nosed winning mentality, Australia enters this tournament with a heady mix of talent and adaptability. Stars dot the Australian squad. The quintet of (captain) Pat Cummins, Steve Smith, David Warner, Mitchell Starc and Glenn Maxwell have dominated world cricket in the last decade.
The only drawback for the Aussies would be their perceived weakness in the sub-continent, where pitches are slower and the weather is hotter than in Australia.
The winner of the last ODI world cup (2019), England, is another strong contender for the trophy. Along with India and Australia, England make up the top three teams of the tournament.
Just as India and the Aussies, England boasts of stars and depth in all aspects.
Many of last world cup’s stars – Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow remain in this English side. However, the injury-plagued recent months of speedster Jofra Archer will hamper England’s bowling plans.
Upcoming stars Harry Brook and Dawid Malan are the ones to look out for.
Winner of the 1992 edition of the cricket world cup, Pakistan, is the dark horse of this tournament. In Asian conditions, they have the resources to beat the best of sides.
Under the astute leadership of captain Babar Azam, Pakistan cricket has come a long way. Unlike the better part of the last two decades, now there is stability in Pakistan cricket; no sudden captaincy changes and the infamous Pakistani batting collapses are a thing of the past.
In fact, Pakistan has reached the finals of many big tournaments in the last two years (T20 WC 2022 and Asia Cup 2022). However, they have lacked the killer punch in the knock out matches.
Bonafide superstars Mohammad Rizwan and Shaheen Afridi will be the players to watch out for.
New Zealand is another strong team. But the Kiwis have never won the ODI world cup. This year too doubts remain on their chances of lifting this trophy.
Captain Kane Williamson is returning from a long injury lay off which will boost the team’s morale.
New Zealand will have a shout-in for a semi-final berth with their solid batting, skillful pace bowling and traditionally brilliant fielding.
They will look to do one better than the last edition’s efforts where they were runners-up in a split of the hair decision in the final.
South Africa will be desperate to win this quadrennial tournament and shrug off the disreputable tag of ‘chokers’.
The African side earned this tag after they fumbled in a must-win match against Australia in the 1999 world cup. That year, they perhaps had the strongest side. Since then, much water has flown under the Thames.
South Africa was hit by the match-fixing scandal and then the quota system was implemented in the cricketing system.
Now, the South African playing XI must have at least six coloured players on an average over the course of an entire season.
This year, the South Africans have a decent side but they do not look like champions ought to. The team will be heavily reliant on captain Temba Bavuma, Aiden Markram, Kagiso Rabada and David Miller.
Winner of the 1996- edition, Sri Lanka, enters the tournament as under-dogs. Their batting, bowling and fielding are suspect. However, they are likely to cause a few upsets, which may spoil the party of other strong contenders.
Captain Dasun Shanaka will have a tough task on his hands.
Bangladesh, along with Afghanistan and Netherlands, form the trio of the weakest teams in this tournament.
To this day, Bangladesh’s highlight of cricketing world cup glory has been pulling off unlikely wins against stronger sides, one such match being the won when it beat India in the 2007 world cup.
There will be over reliance on skipper Shakib Al Hasan, who as an individual is an exceptional spin-bowling all rounder.
Afghanistan is the new team in the block. This will not be the side’s world cup debut, but it is a relatively new team.
Known for physical strength, cricketing sense and spirit, this side is on the rise in the world stage.
However, Afghanistan qualifying for a semi-final spot is highly unlikely.
Netherlands have qualified for the ODI world cup several times in the past and will do so in the future. But that is as far their world cup journey usually goes. There is no star in this European side and they are likely to finish last at the end of the group stage.