The national selectors on Monday announced the 15-member Indian squad for the ICC World Cup 2019, starting May 30. The Committee of Administrators along with office bearers had decided on the date during a meeting last week.
Another hot topic was the back-up for MS Dhoni during the World Cup. MSK Prasad also confirmed that Kedar Jadhav could also bat in the important middle-order position if the need arises with KL Rahul also in the wings.
Dinesh Karthik, 33, was given the second wicketkeeper's slot over rising 21-year-old star Rishabh Pant. "That's the reason we went with Dinesh Karthik", he said. Vijay Shankar also found himself in the squad and will most certainly occupy the hyped No. 4 slot. Under pressure, we have seen Dinesh Karthik finishing matches.
At least 11 players are certain to be picked into the squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami.
Moments after India's World Cup squad was announced on Monday, a question reigned supreme on everyone's mind - why no Rishabh Pant?
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Amidst the speculations for the No. 4 spot, Ambati Rayudu - who is not being in good form - is missing out of the team.
"What Vijay Shankar offers is three dimensional", Prasad said.
"And in the second part of the tournament, when the wickets will be more dry, we felt Jadeja will be handy". The debate for the number four was shut down finally with Ambati Rayudu being dropped for being inconsistent despite getting enough chances. Hardik Pandya remains India's first choice all-rounder while wrist-spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal are expected to share the slow bowling duties.
England, ranked No.1 on the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team rankings, have been widely touted as favourites for the mega-event.