Indian selectors will announced a 15-member contingent for the 2019 World Cup on Monday and while a majority of the squad picks itself, there is still debate over one or two spots.
The selectors will take a closer look at a No4 batsman, reserve wicketkeeper or extra all-rounder when finalising the squad.
The nucleus of the Indian ODI squad consists of captain Virat Kohli, openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, veteran keeper MS Dhoni, quicks Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami, spinners Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal and all-rounders Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya.
Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja is almost certain to be penciled in as the spinner/all-rounder in the team as he offers a great fielding option as well. That leaves three positions in the squad, depending upon the requirements of the management.
Here we take a look at three names who will be in contention to make the final cut.
The Delhi wicketkeeper batsman solves many problems at one go. He is a wicketkeeper who can bat anywhere in the order, and is the most explosive hitter in Indian cricket. If MS Dhoni picks up an injury in the nearly two-month long tournament, Pant can keep wickets. But purely on his batting abilities, he offers a great and versatile option to Kohli. Dinesh Karthik is in the race for the reserve wicketkeeper’s spot but Pant should get the nod.
The Karnataka player is a favourite of Kohli and offers an experienced option at the top of the order. Not only is KL in decent nick in white ball cricket, he can be a back-up opener and even bat in the top four should the need arise. Also, has kept wickets so won’t be the worst back-up to Dhoni. His experience in the international stage across formats make him a great option.
Another all-round option who can do more than one job for India in England. The Tamil Nadu dasher has shown to be a more than capable bat at the vexed No4 position and has the temperament and power to change gears according to the situation. Shankar can clear any ground with ease and if the conditions are right, can bowl a few tight seam-up overs as well.
NOTE: Reports have emerged that India will be carrying three reserve bowlers with them at the World Cup, which opens the door for the likes of pacers Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Khaleel Ahmed and IPL sensation Navdeep Saini to board the plane to England and be available should the first-choice quicks break down.
Know more about Sport360 Application