India selectors finally anounces their 15 man World cup 2019 squad. Most of the spots selected was on expected lines except the 2nd keeper spot. Also no specialist fourth pacer is included and therefore the team has to hope that the 3 specialist fast bowlers stay fit for entire duration of 1.5 month long event.
The batting looks strong as expected with Rohit , Shikhar, Virat , KL Rahul as the 4 specialists and Kedar Jadav and Vijay Shankar as the two batting allrounders. Hardik Pandya is the main allrounder of the team followed by 3 specialist spinners in Kuldeep, Chahal and Jadeja and 3 specialist fast bowlers I Shami , Bhuvaneswar and Jasprit Bumrah. Dhoni is the main keeper with Dinesh Karthik chosen over Pant has his deputy.
The major contentious decision was choosing Karthik over Rishabh Pant as the 2nd keeper as Karthik’s recent form for last 3 months was not good and he is also struggling for runs in ongoing IPL. Pant on the other hand scored runs in test cricket in England and Australia and although his form has been admittedly patchy in the ODIs and IPL he is at least in better batting form than Karthik and is also an impact player. Plus there is little to choose between the two in terms of keeping skills, so Dinesh Karthik should consider himself slightly lucky to get the nod. Hopefully he will get back his touch and do well for India.
Another tough call is not taking the fourth specialist fast bowler.We had good options in Navdeep Saini, Khaleel Ahmed and Deepak Chahar all of whom can move the ball well and Saini blessed with good speeds. However the selectors decided to have more players in the squad who can bat. This can get costly if there are fitness issues to any of our selected specialist fast bowlers.
An important name who have missed out on selection apart from Pant is Ambati Rayudu ,who even 6 months ago was a frontrunner for selection but recent poor series vs Australia and a patchy form in ongoing IPL has proved costly for him .Also he is a one dimensional player compared to Vijay Shankar or Kedar Jadav who can provide additional bowling options.
Earlier there were some doubts on KL Rahul’s selection but his recent good form for India A and IPL finally earns him a spot in the squad. He is the 3rd opener in the side.
From the looks of it , Vijay Shankar seems to be the frontrunner for the contentious number 4 batting spot with KL Rahul being the other go to option . In certain situations MS Dhoni can also take that spot.
Rest of the squad were however selected on expected lines.
With conditions expected to get drier from 2nd half of June onwards in England, 3 specialist spinners in the team is a good call.
The final squad:
Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma(vc), Shikhar Dhawan , KL Rahul, Vijay Shankar, Kedar Jadav, MS Dhoni(wk), Dinesh Karthik(wk), Hardik Pandya, Bhuvaneswar Kumar, Md Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzi Chahal, Ravindra Jadeja .