The 12th edition of the ICC World Cup is scheduled to start on 30 May 2019, and all the 10 participating teams are working hard for the mega event that will be played in England for the fifth time. Here’s how we feel India’s 2019 World Cup squad should be like.

With the resurgence of Ambati Rayadu and Khaleel Ahmed, the choices for the squad has been greatly competitive. Let us deep dive into the details:

Openers

  1. Rohit Sharma
  2. Shikhar Dhawan
  3. KL Rahul

This was probably the easiest decision to make. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan together have played some brilliant cricket at the top of the order and it’s no brainier that they will the first choice openers. KL Rahul as most of us agree is supremely talented will be the backup opener.

While Shikhar Dhawan’s current form could be a bit of worry but he is known as the man of big tournaments. With World Cup to be held in England, where he excelled (or super excelled?) during the Champions Trophy 2013 and 2017, it’s a safe assumption that he will perform as good in what could probably be his last ODI World Cup.

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Middle Order and Wicket Keepers

  1. Virat Kohli
  2. Ambati Rayudu
  3. MS Dhoni (WK)
  4. Dinesh Karthik (WK)
  5. Rishabh Pant (WK)

Virat Kohli will be leading the team on the field with the bat as well as leadership qualities.
Ambati Rayudu has shown lot of promise and has played above expectations during the Asia Cup and Windies ODIs. While Australia’s tour could be the final indicator of his skills, he seems to have pretty much grabbed the infamous no 4 position. MS Dhoni, in-spite of his lacklustre form, would most certainly be the first choice wicket keeper.

Along with his lightning wicket keeping skills, his calmness is required with Virat being overly aggressive. His comments behind the stumps have helped spinners like Kuldeep and Chahal along with his inhuman DRS reviews.

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Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant both probably be in squad as backup wicket keepers as well as backup middle order batsmen. Dinesh Karthik 2.0 has been excellent while Rishabh Pant has shown enough promise to have him picked above Manish Pandey and Shreyas Iyer.

All-Rounders

  1. Kedar Jadhav
  2. Hardik Pandya
  3. Krunal Pandya
  4. Ravindra Jadeja

With none of top 5 able to bowl, we need a No. 6 who can be handy with the ball if the need arises. Ideally No. 6 and No. 7 should be good batsmen who can together give minimum of 10 overs and upto 18-20 overs if the need arises. Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya can respectively be those batsmen. And we have seen how they can create Havoc with their performance for Mumbai Indians. However Krunal Pandya needs to be tested in the 50 over format. Also, Kedar Jadhav has been good with the bat and given useful overs whenever the team has needed it. So, Kedar Jadhav and Hardik Pandya seem more practical as of now. Ravindra Jadeja with his recent performance will be in the squad with his recent performance. However, with Hardik coming back, he would probably be warming the bench.

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Spinners

  1. Kuldeep Yadav
  2. Yuzvendra Chahal

There are not more options than these two currently. They have been exceptional in the middle overs and have taken wickets consistently. Ravindra Jadeja can be the backup spinner if required.

Fast Bowlers

  1. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar
  2. Jasprit Bumrah
  3. K Khaleel Ahmed
  4. Umesh Yadav/Mohammad Shami

Bhuvi and Bumrah have been superb. They will be most essential to India’s campaign. Khaleel Ahmed should be 3rd pacer in the squad and will be part of the playing XI if there is need to play 3 genuine pacers. Since the World Cup will be played in England, we would also require a fourth fast bowler who could either be Umesh Yadav or Mohammad Shami. With Umesh Yadav being preferred recently, it seems he would be Umesh who would be flying to England with the squad.

The Squad

  1. Rohit Sharma (VC)
  2. Shikhar Dhawan
  3. K Lokesh Rahul
  4. Virat Kohli (C)
  5. Ambati Rayudu
  6. Mahendra Singh Dhoni (WK)
  7. Dinesh Karthik (WK)
  8. Rishabh Pant (WK)
  9. Kedar Jadhav
  10. Hardik Pandya
  11. Krunal Pandya
  12. Ravindra Jadeja
  13. Kuldeep Yadav
  14. Yuzvendra Chahal
  15. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar
  16. Jasprit Bumrah
  17. K Khaleel Ahmed
  18. Umesh Yadav

Understandably, India may not want to sent 18 member squad. So, probably Krunal Pandya and one of DK/Pant may miss out.

Probable Starting XI

Earlier, whenever India used to lose, it was generally because of the bowlers. But with the quadruplet of Bhuvi-Bumrah-Kuldeep-Chahal, India’s bowling has become their strength. So, in-spite of the seamer friendly conditions of England, it would be wise to play both the leggies and strangle the opposition in the middle overs.

  1. Shikhar Dhawan
  2. Rohit Sharma (VC)
  3. Virat Kohli (C)
  4. Ambati Rayudu
  5. Mahendra Singh Dhoni (WK)
  6. Kedar Jadhav
  7. Hardik Pandya
  8. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar
  9. Kuldeep Yadav
  10. Yuzvendra Chahal
  11. Jasprit Bumrah

What do you think about our choices? Let us know in the comments.

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