Much awaited 15-member India squad has been announced on Monday for the upcoming ICC World Cup which is scheduled to start from May 30 in England.
The announcement made everyone surprised with a few selections and omissions. When everyone was hoping for Rishabh Pant’s inclusion in the World Cup squad, with much surprise, Dinesh Karthik has found a place as the backup wicketkeeper. Whereas Ambati Rayudu was a sure selection for the last couple of months back, he couldn’t find his name in the 15-member squad. Vijay Shankar; who was a replacement of Hardik Pandya in the New Zealand and Australia series earlier this year, has been selected on the back of strong performances.
KL Rahul has been selected for some of his good knocks while Ravindra Jadeja has been selected as the third spinner of the team. However, the selector has an explanation over Rishabh Pant and Ambati Rayudu’s exclusion from the squad.
“Definitely a case where we debated (at) length. We all (agreed) that either Rishabh Pant or Dinesh Karthik will come in only when [Dhoni] is injured. In an important game, wicket keeping is also important. That’s the reason we went with Dinesh Karthik,” said Prasad about Karthik’s inclusion.
Talking about Rayudu’s exclusion, MSK Prasad said, “After the Champions Trophy (2017), we tried quite a few people in that position. We did give a few more chances to Rayudu. Vijay Shankar is three dimensional. We are looking at him at no. 4 to begin with. We also have Dinesh Karthik and Kedar Jadhav. It’s not that anything that went against [Rayudu], it’s that a few things went for [Shankar].”
He has said about KL Rahul’s inclusion as well. “To begin with KL [Rahul] will be reserve opener if need arises the team management will take a call,” he further added.
However, all the players have been busy in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) for their respective franchises. While the team selection left everyone in surprise, former player VVS Laxman, current India team players Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Vijay Shankar shared their views on the team selection.
“The Indian team is a very balanced side and is one of the strong contenders for the title. I have closely monitored Bhuvi and Vijay in the nets while they were on SRH duties. They look in great shape and are raring to perform on a stage like World Cup. I can see these players contributing in team’s success in a major way.” said VVS Laxman, the former India player and currently associated with Sunrisers Hyderabad franchise as the team Mentor in IPL.
“I am extremely happy to be selected for the World Cup, the conducive English conditions will suit my strength and I am looking to make most of it. Playing for SRH in IPL has given me the right match practice just before the mega tournament like WC. This is my second WC and now I am pretty confident to perform at such level,” said India’s pace spearhead Bhuvneshwar Kumar
“I am extremely elated to be in the Indian WC team. This is like a dream come true. We have a few World cup winning team members here at SRH and I have spoken to them to understand what it feels like to play in a WC and then go on to win it. I have learnt a lot from them on the ways to manage pressure at such a large scale event,” added Vijay Shankar, India’s new-found batting all-rounder.
India will start their campaign in the ICC World Cup against South Africa on 5th June at Southampton.
Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma (VC), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Vijay Shankar, Kedar Jadav, MS Dhoni (WK), Dinesh Karthik (WK), Hardik Pandya, Bhuvaneswar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravindra Jadeja.