So, the 15-man squad for the World Cup 2019 in England is here and, unsurprisingly, Indian opted for experience and temperament over explosiveness and risk. Rishabh Pant and Ambati Rayudu are two notable exclusions in the side. Rishabh Pant who has created quite a storm in last one year has been left for the world cup squad, scheduled to be held in England.
Indian wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik has been chosen over Pant owing to his wicket-keeping skills and ability to finish the game for India.
“We debated at length whether to pick Pant or DK (Dinesh Karthik). We felt that either of them would only come into the XI if Mahi (Dhoni) is injured. We felt that if it is a big game like semifinal or final, keeping ability also matters. Pant was almost there,” Prasad said after the selection meeting in Mumbai on Monday.
Rishabh Pant in the IPL has scored 245 runs in eight matches so far, while Dinesh Kartik, on the other hand, hasn’t enjoyed a wonderful season till now, scoring just 111 runs in as many games. However, Chairman MSK Prasad has asserted that the IPL performances have not been considered in order to choose the squad as the likes of Shubhman Gill and Shreyas Iyer who also have had a decent season so far haven’t been considered for the same.
“This squad was very close to the side we picked against Australia. We didn’t consider IPL form. The likes of Iyer and Shubman Gill are doing well but they were not considered,” Prasad said.
Another talking point in regard to the World Cup squad was Ambati Rayudu’s exclusion in the squad. After almost ceiling the place for the World Cup a while ago, Rayudu has made way for Vijay Shankar in the squad owing to his ability to bat and bowl as well. Also, Shankar being a tremendous fielder isn’t an unknown fact.
“After the 2017 Champions Trophy, we tried a lot of middle-order batsmen which included the likes of Shreyas Iyer and Manish Pandey. Shankar offered us three dimensions — he might bowl a bit and is a fantastic fielder. He is a batman who might bowl a bit. We are looking at him for the No. 4 position.”
“Nothing went against Rayudu but a lot of things went in favour of Shankar,” former India wicketkeeper Prasad said about selecting Shankar.
The selectors have also chosen KL Rahul as the back-up opener, while he can fill the spot for the middle-order if needed.
“Yes, we are looking at Shankar in that position while Jadhav is another option. Rahul is also there which can look at one of the top order options. But for now, we have picked Rahul as the back-up opener.”
Arguably, World’s best fielder Ravindra Jadeja also makes the cut as the third-all rounder in the squad. Jadeja averages 29.92 with the bat in 151 ODI’s and 35.89 with the ball, having claimed 174 wickets.
“Over the last couple of years, Chahal and Kuldeep (Yadav) have won us a lot of games. Jadeja brings in variety among the spinner. The wickets might get drier as the tournament goes on and that’s why we have picked Jadeja,” Prasad said about picking Jadeja as the additional all-rounder.
India World Cup Squad 2019
The International Cricket Council (ICC) gives all countries the option of changing this 15-man squad till seven days before the start of the World Cup. But the chief selector said that the squad will not be changed unless there is an injury.
The team will also travel with four other medium pacers apart from the squad of 15, the names of which will be announced soon by the BCCI. It is expected that Navdeep Saini, Umesh Yadav and Khaleel Ahmed could be among the additional pace bowlers.
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