The ruthless MSK Prasad led selection committee unveiled the Indian team squad for the 2019 World Cup, which begins on May 30 in England and Wales. BCCI revealed the 15-man touring party to go to England for the world's biggest cricket event which kicks off for Ravi Shastri's troops against South Africa on June 5.
Virat Kohli will lead the team and Rohit Sharma acts as his deputy in the showpiece event. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan are the openers while KL Rahul is the back-up opener. The No 3, No 4 and No 5 slots are fixed to Virat Kohli, Vijay Shankar and MS Dhoni respectively. The lower order is fixed to Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
The most important Number 4 position, while there have been lots of discussion ranging from Ambati Rayudu, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, Vijay Shankar, Dinesh Karthik, Ajinkya Rahane and Shreyas Iyer. But, 5-member panel of BCCI fixed to Vijay Shankar for that position. Vijay Shankar is an all-rounder, who has the ability can score runs consistently in the English conditions.
"After the Champions Trophy, we tried a lot of middle order batsmen, which includes Karthik as well. We gave Rayudu many chances, but Shankar gives us ability with the three dimensions (bowling, batting, fielding). If the conditions are suitable, he can come in as an all-rounder. Shankar is a batsman who can bowl, we are looking to play him at number four," MSK Prasad said.
"It's definitely a case where we debated for long. We all felt that either Pant or Karthik will come in the playing XI if Dhoni is injured. We all felt if the injury happens in the semi-finals, wicket-keeping also matters, so that is the reason why we went for Karthik instead of Pant," MSK Prasad, the Chairman of selectors told reporters.
"In the last one year, Kuldeep and Chahal have won us many games. But there might be a situation when you require an additional all-rounder in the playing XI, which Jadeja brings in, and in the second part of the tournament, wickets may be a bit drier so that's where we think Jadeja will come in handy," MSK Prasad said.
The fast bowlers are Bhuvneshwar, Bumrah and Shami while spinners are Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav. MS Dhoni will take charge of the gloves while Dinesh Karthik is the back-up keeper.
Ravindra Jadeja once again got selected for the team as the wickets might be slower during the World Cup time in England and team management drafted Ravindra Jadeja as the third spinner. There is no need of the fourth pacer in the team as both Pandya & Shankar can swing the ball on a slow turf.
Team India will play their first game against South Africa at The Rose Bowl Stadium in Southampton on June 5. Virat Kohli led the Indian cricket team will play their fourth match against arch-rivals Pakistan at the Old Trafford in Manchester on June 16.