The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) selection committee on Monday announced the 15-member Indian squad for the 2019 International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup, which is slated to take place in England and Wales from May 30 to July 14.
While the MSK Prasad-led selection committee retained seven players from the 2015 World Cup squad, seven members of the team will be making their maiden appearances at the quadrennial event.
Let us have a look at the profile of India’s World Cup team:
Indian skipper Virat Kohli will continue to lead the 15-member team in the 2019 World Cup. The 30-year-old, who is currently the number one batsman in the ICC ODI Rankings, has scored a total of 10,843 runs in 227 matches he has played in the 50-over format at a strike rate of 93. Kohli was also part of India’s World Cup winning squad in 2011 and is all set to make his third appearance at the marquee event.
Rohit Sharma will serve as Virat Kohli’s deputy in the 2019 ICC World Cup besides being Shikhar Dhawan’s opening partner. The swashbuckling opener, who will be making his second appearance at the mega event, has appeared in a total of 206 ODIs for the Men in Blue scoring 8,010 runs at an average of 47.4 at a strike rate of 88. In his last appearance at the showpiece 50-over tournament, Sharma had notched 330 runs in eight matches he played at an average of over 47.
Shikhar Dhawan will be opening the batting for India in the upcoming event in the United Kingdom. Like Sharma, the left-hander will also be making only his second appearance at the quadrennial event. Dhawan was also a part of India’s World Cup squad in Australia in 2015 and had amassed 412 runs in eight matches he played at an average of 51.50 in the mega event. Overall, Dhawan has featured in a total of 128 ODIs for India and scored 5,355 runs in it.
KL Rahul has been roped in the Indian squad for the World Cup as a reserve opener. He will be making his maiden appearance in the tournament. The Karnataka batsman has played just 14 ODIs for India so far and scored 343 runs in it , including a 100 and two half-centuries.
All-rounder Vijay Shankar has got a nod in the Indian squad ahead of Ambati Rayudu for the much-debated No. 4 position. BCCI chief selector MSK Prasad confirmed that they had tried playing a few players after the Champions Trophy including Ambati Rayudu for this slot, but what Shankar brings is three-dimensional.
Shankar made his international debut during the 2018 Nidahas Trophy T20I tournament, also featuring Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Though Shankar has appeared in just nine matches scoring 165 runs since then, his mature performances seemed to have impressed the national selectors.
Former Indian skipper and current wicketkeeper-batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni will head into the upcoming tournament as the most experienced and the senior-most member. It was under Dhoni’s leadership that India ended their 26-year-long wait for the World Cup trophy in 2011. The 37-year-old, who has played in a total of 341 ODIs for India scoring 10,500 runs, is expected to be the go-man for skipper Virat Kohli in pressure situations. Considered as one of the best finishers in the world, Dhoni is likely to make his last appearance in the World Cup in 2019.
Dinesh Karthik has got a nod in the 15-member Indian squad ahead of Rishabh Pant as the back-up wicketkeeper for Mahendra Singh Dhoni for the 50-over showpiece competition. Karthik was named in the squad on the back of his impressive performances since making a return to the side for the Nidahas Trophy 2018. He notched up match-winning runs for India in the final against Bangladesh and has been a regular member of the ODI squad since then.
Overall, Karthik has featured in a total of 91 ODIs for India and scored 1,738 runs at an average of 31.03.
Hardik Pandya has been one of the regular members of the ODI team since making his debut against New Zealand in 2016. The 25-year-old all-rounder has appeared in a total of 45 matches for the Men in Blue in the 50-over format and amassed 731 runs besides bagging 44 wickets in it. Hardik had endured a tough phase in recent time. A back injury ahead of the 2018 Asia Cup and subsequent off-field controversy had sidelined him for some time.
Ravindra Jadeja, who was sidelined from the limited-overs format following the arrival of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, has also got the nod in India’s World Cup squad on the back of his successful run in the 2018 Asia Cup. The spinner had bagged seven wickets in that tournament besides coming up with a decent performance with the bat. Jadeja has scored 2,035 runs besides taking 174 wickets in 151 matches he played so far.
All-rounder Kedar Jadhav is all set to make his maiden appearance in the World Cup. The 34-year-old, who has been a significant part of the ODI team for some time now, has amassed 1,174 runs and bagged 27 wickets in 59 matches he has played so far. His inclusion in the team will provide India an option of an extra spinner.
Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal will also be heading into the mega event for the first time. Chahal, who made his ODI debut for India against Zimbabwe in 2016, has bagged a total of 72 wickets in 41 ODIs he has played so far. He and Kuldeep Yadav are currently one of the world’s most lethal spin bowling combination.
Kuldeep Yadav’s inclusion in India’s World Cup squad was almost certain. The Chinamam bowler, who is a key member in the Indian bowling line-up, has grabbed 87 wickets in 44 ODIs he has played for the Men in Blue so far. He will also be boarding the flight for the showpiece event for the first time.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar is one of those bowlers who has the ability to swing the ball both ways, something which can prove to be quite significant for India at the World Cup. The medium-pacer, who has also impressed at the death in the last couple of years, will be making his second appearance at the mega event after featuring in the 2015 ICC World Cup. He has grabbed a total of 118 wickets from 101 matches he has played since making his debut in the 50-over format against Pakistan in 2012.
Mohammed Shami had a memorable campaign at the 2015 World Cup, taking 17 wickets in seven matches he played at a strike rate of 21.5. The 29-year-old will look to replicate a similar performance when he plays for the Men in Blue in the 2019 edition. Shami was forced to miss the first half of 2018 due to a failed yo-yo test and a major issue in his personal life. However, he made a superb comeback to the international arena, taking 19 wickets from the last 11 ODI he played so far in 2019.
Jasprit Bumrah is currently the number one bowler in the ICC ODI rankings. The 25-year-old, who made his debut against Australia in 2016, has taken 85 wickets from 49 matches at an impressive economy rate of 4.51. Death-overs specialist Bumrah is all set to spearhead the pace attack, also featuring Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami, in his maiden World Cup appearance.
India will kickstart their ICC World Cup campaign against South Africa on June 5.
Source: Zee News