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Cricket World Cup 2019: Indian Team Announcement – What To Expect And What Not To Expect

India's 2019 Cricket World Cup campaign starts on June 5 with a group match against South Africa at Rose Bowl, Southampton

Cricket World Cup 2019: Indian Team Announcement – What To Expect And What Not To Expect
Virat Kohli is expected to lead a very strong Indian squad to the 2019 Cricket World Cup
Cricket World Cup 2019: Indian Team Announcement – What To Expect And What Not To Expect
outlookindia.com
2019-04-15T14:57:00+0530

Finally, the day of reckoning is here for the Indian hopefuls. When the five-member All-India Senior Selection Committee meets in Mumbai on Monday, names of 15 cricketers who are selected for the 2019 Cricket World Cup will dominate the national discourse and at the same time, many dreams will be shattered. Like it or not, it will officially mark the start of India's preparation for the mega event in England and Wales.

Thanks to months of cricketing overdose and simulated auditions, and endless sound-bites from the mouthpieces of Indian cricket, it has become an open secret that most of the positions in the squad have already been confirmed, except -- as skipper Virat Kohli had said -- only "one slot" which is left to be filled.

It won't be a surprise when the five wise men announce a team of 'certainties,' with a name or two cropping up to cater to the suspense quotient. With a strong-willed captain Virat Kohli and equally demonstrative head coach Ravi Shastri at the helm, and also India having played their last ODI match before the World Cup some time back, one would wonder what made the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), or the Committee of administrators (CoA) wait so long to announce the squad.

Yes, of course, there's Indian Premier League (IPL).

With privately owned and operated franchises demanding more than 100% performance from their prized cricketers and the BCCI itself promoting the league, there was no chance of the world's richest cricket body announcing the team beforehand. It would have demoralised the would-be discards. Discards are always bad for business. Then, there was also possible fitness/injury worries. A predicament currently facing by New Zealand.

But the general consensus is that the squad has already been named, and it's only a matter of making it public. But still, it's a task fraught with danger to speculate the names.

As widely reported, the 'debate' to deliberate on for the MSK Prasad-led selectors will be about that contentious number four spot and second wicketkeeper's position.

So, who are the certainties?

Virat Kohli (c/batsman), Rohit Sharma (vc/batsman), Shikhar Dhawan (batsman), MS Dhoni (wk/batsman), Kedar Jadhav (all-rounder), Hardik Pandya (all-rounder), Kuldeep Yadav (spinner), Yuzvendra Chahal (spinner), Jasprit Bumrah (pacer), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (pacer), Mohammed Shami (pacer).

Then, who will fill the remaining four spots?

For second wicketkeeper's position -- Dinesh Karthik or Rishabh Pant or KL Rahul

Rishabh Pant's competition for the second keeper's slot with veteran Dinesh Karthik and the recent upturn in fortunes for KL Rahul will be the highlight of the selection meeting.

Pant, already the anointed heir apparent to MS Dhoni, is the favourite to join the team as the back-up wicketkeeper. Meaning, he has an advantage over seasoned but rarely tasted Dinesh Karthik.

His plus points are - a floater who can bat between 1 and 7; a left-hander, with finishing abilities.

KL Rahul has peaked at the right time. He also can keep and is a top top-order batsman, and is diligent, unlike Pant. The third opener is as crucial as the second wicketkeeper.

Number four - Ambati Rayudu, KL Rahul, Vijay Shankar

It all looked so good for Ambati Rayudu with endorsements coming from both the captain and the coach. But he has made himself a liability with a string of under-par performances; which forced the think tank to test Vijay Shankar, and the all-rounder also looked promising.

But on current form, no one is better suited for this position than Rahul. The advantage of having Rahul is, he covered both the second wicketkeeper and no four positions, thus freeing up a spot, where someone can be squeezed in.

Fourth seamer or extra specialist spinner - Vijay Shankar, Ravindra Jadeja

It becomes a straight shoot-out between the two certified all-rounders. And it will depend on the English weather. For wet conditions, Vijay; for dry conditions, Jadeja. Shankar with a more pronounce batting talent and the ability to play new ball has the advantage.

The squad looks like this:

Until recently

Batsmen: Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma (vc), Virat Kohli (c), Ambati Rayudu, Rishabh Pant;
Wicketkeeper: MS Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik
All-Rounders: Hardik Pandya, Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja
Spinners: Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal
Pacers: Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami

Hours before team selection

Batsmen: Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma (vc), Virat Kohli (c), Ambati Rayudu, KL Rahul;
Wicketkeeper: MS Dhoni, Rishabh Pant
All-Rounders: Hardik Pandya, Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja
Spinners: Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal
Pacers: Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami

And hope, there's no last-minute injury.

By the way, other members of the selection committee are: Sarandeep Singh, Debang Gandhi, Jatin Paranjpe and Gagan Khoda.

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