BCCI announced 15-man Indian squad for the ICC World Cup 2019, to be played in England & Wales from May 30, 2019. Virat Kohli will lead the team, which was announced in Mumbai on Monday. While there were no major surprises in the 15, the inclusion of Dinesh Karthik was the notable factor and Rishabh Pant was the surprise exclusion.
The announcement had been awaited with great anticipation, especially since the date was declared a while ago, with most of the conjecture surrounding who would be India’s crucial No. 4 batsman. The squad was announced by Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Acting Honorary Secretary Amitabh Choudhary, with Chairman of Selectors MSK Prasad sharing the dais.
Chairman of selectors MSK Prasad said that Karthik will be the back-up wicketkeeper and was preferred over Pant due to his superior skill behind the stumps. Karthik, the oldest Indian player in terms of international debut (three months before Dhoni in September 2004), was also part of the Indian squad during its disastrous 2007 World Cup campaign but missed out on 2011 and the 2015 editions.
“It is definitely a case which we have debated at length. In unison, we felt either DK or Pant will only come into the playing eleven if Mahi is injured. So, at that juncture if it is a crucial match, a quarterfinal or a semifinal, keeping also matters,” Prasad told reporters after the announcement of the squad. “That is the only reason why we went ahead with DK otherwise Pant was almost there,” he added.
He also revealed thet Khaleel Ahmed and Navdeep Saini were also discussed as back-up pacers and added they would be on stand-by and will fly down to England if the need arises.
The main strike force in the pace department picked themselves. Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have done incredibly well for India while the two wrist spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav will be a force to reckon with.
In 2018, India won their first ever ODI series in South Africa, won the Asia Cup, defeated West Indies at home and won away series in Australia and New Zealand. However, India had lost a 3-match ODI series in England in 2018.
The selectors can still make changes to the squad announced today. In the one-month window of April 23-May 23, teams can make changes to the squad without being required to provide any reasoning to the ICC. After May 23, through to the end of the tournament, any changes will have to be processed by the World Cup technical committee.
ndia begin their World Cup campaign against South Africa in Southampton on June 5. India’s next match will be against defending champions Australia at Kennington Oval, London before they take on New Zealand in Nottingham 4 days later.
India play the high-profile clash against Pakistan on June 16 in Manchester before returning to Southampton to play Afghanistan on June 22. India then play West Indies (June 27). Bangladesh (July 2) and Sri Lanka (July 6).
India’s squad for ICC World Cup 2019: Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma (VC), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Vijay Shankar, MS Dhoni (WK), Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneswhar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami