India have today (April 15, 2019) officially announced their 15 member squad for the 2019 World Cup in England. They are the third side to do so after New Zealand and reigning champions Australia. Let’s take a look at the talking points from the squad announcement.
Who are the big names to miss out on India’s CWC squad?
There are two that immediately come to mind- batsman Ambati Rayudu and wicket keeper Rishabh Pant. Rayudu has played at 4 for most of the last 12 months, but his poor form against quality bowling attacks seems to have gone against the 33 year old. Vijay Shankar wasn’t flashy but was most definitely efficient, and seemed to be more assured than Rayudu in India’s games Down Under. The Tamil Nadu star also offers the ability to bowl, which means Kohli has a greater variety to choose from for the fifth bowler’s role (essentially 10 overs between Shankar, Hardik Pandya and Kedar Jadhav). A left field option could be KL Rahul at 4, but he’s essentially touring as the reserve opener, and will probably not come into the XI unless Shankar or Jadhav have very poor tournaments with the bat.
Why did Rishabh Pant not got selected for the World Cup?
India’s selectors announced that Dinesh Karthik got the nod over Pant because of the former’s superior keeping skills. That’s an interesting statement given that Pant is the incumbent keeper in the test team. The 21 year old is also left handed- India have no southpaws in their middle order, and could’ve been an interesting option with his explosive hitting skills.
Karthik hasn’t been in the best of form in the IPL, but skipper Virat Kohli had said that IPL form would not count for the World Cup, and it appears the selectors have kept that in mind. Karthik’s superior finishing skills (the Nidahas Trophy final) also earned him the nod. However it’s unlikely he will get much playing time- he is effectively MS Dhoni’s backup at the tournament, and not a contender for a middle-order spot.
How many players from the 2015 World Cup squad have been selected in India’s 2019 WC squad?
Seven players from India’s CWC 2015 squad have made it to the 2019 edition- the trio of Kohli, Sharma and Dhawan, wicket-keeper Dhoni, the pace duo of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohd Shami and left arm spinner Ravi Jadeja.
Why was Ravindra Jadeja selected for the World Cup?
Before the official announcement, Jadeja’s spot was the one that was under most scrutiny along with Rayudu and Karthik. India could’ve chosen an extra pacer given that Shankar and Pandya were both seam all-rounders and Kuldeep, Chahal and Jadhav were spinning options.
However it appears that Mohd Shami’s rise has necessitated the need for Jadeja in the squad. Shami doesn’t bat as well as Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and India normally play only two pacers. Over the last few months, Shami seems to have found another gear, and currently appears to have leapfrogged Kumar. A tail of Kuldeep-Chahal-Shami-Bumrah is however too long in modern cricket, and Jadeja will probably play in place of either Kuldeep or Chahal to give extra batting depth if Shami is the XI.