The 2019 World Cup is just months away and all teams are looking to finalise their squad for the cricketing extravaganza. India have nine more ODIs left to finalise their World Cup squad. So, who could be the automatic selection for India for the 15-member squad for 2019 World Cup? Cricwizz takes a look at the performances of individual players to determine who all can make it to the World Cup bus.
Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma
They are the pillars of India’s ODI batting line-up and their form with the bat is crucial to India’s success in the 2019 World Cup. India rely heavily on them to give good starts and make it count. Rohit’s form with the bat in limited-overs cricket is second to Virat Kohli’s. Dhawan is inconsistent, but he roared back to form in the Napier ODI against New Zealand.
Reserve opener or No 4
KL Rahul could have been in the plane to England but his dwindling form and the talk show controversy has sealed his fate for the time being. Ambati Rayudu, although inconsistent, is the best bet as a reserve opener as he opened in IPL 2018 for Chennai Super Kings with great success. But Kohli and Co would prefer him at No 4 unless either of the regular openers is not available. Rayudu is all but confirmed, but a few impressive performances in the upcoming ODIs would book his World Cup ticket.
Virat Kohli (captain), Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik (reserve keeper)
Kohli has not met with much success as a captain in multi-nation events. He came close in the 2017 Champions Trophy, before losing to Pakistan in the final. Kohli would look to set his records straight and eye a World Cup win with his team, which has a mix of youth and experience. Kedar Jadhav and Dinesh would add solidity to the middle-order. Jadhav will be called upon to do the sixth bowler’s job, while Karthik will be the reserve keeper to MS Dhoni.
Dhoni has silenced his critics with his man of the series performance in the 2-1 ODI series win over Australia. He roared back to form to given the middle-order the depth it needed ahead of the World Cup. Dhoni’s keeping remains top class, while he continues to guide spinners to fool batsmen from behind the stumps. Dhoni’s experience and finishing skills will what make India class apart from other teams in the World Cup.
Ravindra Jadeja, Hardik Pandya/Vijay Shankar
If Hardik Pandya’s Koffee with Karan show controversy is dragged on or harsh punishment is imposed, India then may have to go without the Mumbai Indians player in the World Cup. Pandya is most suitable for the England conditions where he can chip in with a few tidy overs and take wickets as well. And as a lower-order batsman, he can add useful runs with his power hitting. Pandya’s replacement Vijay Shankar is still a work in progress. And it will be a shame if India have to travel to England without Pandya. But Shankar will be the likely candidate if Pandya misses the bus.
Ravindra Jadeja will be the second all-rounder who will get to bulk up the batting order, bowl economically and get those direct hits to effect the run-outs. But a second or third spinner in Jadeja in the XI will be a luxury in England, especially when Jadhav is in the line-up. India would still need Jadeja’s services to add depth to the batting line-up when he called up in the XI.
But Pandya-Jadeja should make it to the World Cup squad.
YS Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav
The wrist-spinners have made India’s No 1 spinner R Ashwin become a Test specialist, while Jadeja is in and out of limited-overs cricket. The two make a great spin pair and hunt in a pair. Kohli would love to unleash the duo at the opposition unless the conditions rule it otherwise. The two can single-handedly destroy any opposition with their wrist spin and clever bowling.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav/Khaleel Ahmed
Bhuvi, Bumrah and Shami are the first choice pacers. The toss up is between Umesh Yadav and Khaleel Ahmed for the fourth pacer’s slot. But Khaleel’s left-arm bowling can pip Umesh Yadav as the former can add variety to the pace bowling attack. Umesh has himself to blame for not making the most of the opportunities he received in limited-overs cricket. Khaleel can consider himself lucky for being a left-arm pacer to hop into the World Cup bus.
Unlucky to miss out
He was named ICC Emerging Cricketer of the Year for his exploits with the bat and keeping gloves. He cracked a ton each in England and Australia and scalped a record 20 dismissals in the Test series Down Under. But the presence of MS Dhoni, and reserve keeper Karthik, would keep Pant out of the race for the 2019 World Cup squad.
India’s 15-member squad for 2019 World Cup (possible): Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni (keeper), Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, YS Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Khaleel Ahmed, Hardik Pandya.