Four years is the time every team has got to prepare and get ready for a 50-over World Cup event. While this might seem to be a long duration, time usually flies by. It is in this interval that all the teams have got to identify the potential candidates for the upcoming event and groom them accordingly. Also, it is this time when a captain’s performance is analysed and decisions are taken.
While some of the current captains might retire, some fail to live up to the expectations. Otherwise, there might also be a situation where the present skipper is replaced by another as a part of a strategic move. Thus, we see a few different captains in comparison with the World Cup 2019 in the World Cup 2023. If that is the case, here are the potential candidates for the same.
Five new captains you might see in the World Cup 2023:
1. Nicholas Pooran | Windies
Nicholas Pooran. (Photo Source: Twitter)
When he was just 23 years old, the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) named Jason Holder the captain of the ODI team. Thus, he became the youngest ever to lead the side in the format when he took over the reins from DJ Bravo. In the last four years, Jason Holder got an extended run as the skipper of the side.
However, the all-rounder has largely failed to live up to the expectations. In 84 ODIs where he led the side, he only managed to win 24 which isn’t really encouraging. Therefore, the management might not give him a chance for another four years and will look for alternatives. While Rovman Powell has led the side in between in the absence of Holder, Nicholas Pooran seems to be a better alternative.
He was the vice-captain of the Windies U19 team during the U19 World Cup 2014. While the team didn’t perform as well, Pooran showed great maturity at such a young age. He could be a long-term prospect as the captain of the side. Pooran has already established himself to be one of the most important members of the batting line-up at the moment and these additional responsibilities will definitely bring the better out of him.
2. Babar Azam | Pakistan
Babar Azam. (Photo Source: Twitter)
While Sarfaraz Ahmed has got a good record as the captain in the limited-overs formats, age is a factor that can’t be ignored. The wicket-keeper batsman will be 36 years old by the time he plays the next World Cup. By this time, players’ reflexes usually slow down and their form declines.
Thus, it might not seem to be an ideal option to continue with him as the skipper for another four years. Instead, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) should look to invest in a new captain at least for the ODI team. Of all the available options, Babar Azam is a front-runner for the position.
Compared to someone like Imad Wasim, Babar is the more likely candidate to be in the eleven irrespective of the conditions. Moreover, he also led Pakistan in U19 One-Day Internationals. He won 13 out of 21 games and showed great maturity back then. Thus, he makes a very good choice to lead the side.
3. Rohit Sharma | India
Rohit Sharma. (Photo Source: Twitter)
This is a name that has been contemplated for quite a while now to lead India in white-ball cricket. Virat Kohli has been at the helm for quite some time now. However, the side lost two major tournaments under his leadership including the World Cup 2019.
As a result, the 30-year-old is clearly under the pump and needs to deliver soon. In the next two years, India will be playing two T20 World Cups. These two tournaments could be the last opportunity for the incumbent Indian skipper to prove his mettle as the leader of the side.
If he fails to succeed, there will obviously be demands to make Rohit Sharma the captain of the team. The opener has proved his potential in the IPL, Nidahas Trophy 2018 and Asia Cup 2018. He is a shrewd tactician and has got a great record leading different teams. Thus, he might lead the side in the World Cup 2023.
4. Jos Buttler | England
Jos Buttler. (Photo Source: read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Eoin Morgan has been one of the most successful skippers for England in the ODI format. No other captain has led the team in as many games as he has done. Most important of all, the team won a 50-over World Cup for the first time ever under his leadership in 2019.
Given his record and stature, he might seem to be an obvious case to lead the side in World Cup 2023 as well. However, the left-hander is mulling stepping down as the skipper due to the injury concerns. If that happens, England has got to look for a new man for the role and Jos Buttler seems to be an ideal option.
Thus far, he has led the team in both the ODI and T20I formats. He is the vice-captain of the side and has got a fair bit of experience. The England Cricket Board (ECB) can possibly give him some time so that he gets adjusted to the role before the next edition of the tournament. This could also bring the best out of him in the future.
5. Steve Smith | Australia
Steve Smith. (Photo Source: Twitter)
After the ban of Steve Smith for one year due to the ball-tampering saga, Aaron Finch had taken over. He did a fabulous job ever since then. So far in all the 27 ODIs where he led the teams, he won 17 and has got a great record as the leader. Finch is an absolute visionary as the leader.
He is an excellent tactician and has made some terrific moves in different games over the last few months. With the kind of work he has done, it might seem that Australia will not need to make any changes. Yet, age is one of those factors which might result in management thinking otherwise.
Finch will be 36 years old by then and it might not be the best option to carry on with him as the leader. Thus, Australia can go back to Steve Smith as soon as his ban period ends next year. The former Australian skipper is just as good, if not better, as the leader of the side. In all likelihood, he will be leading Australia for the first time in the World Cup 2023.
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