A toss-up between Vijay Shankar and Ravindra Jadeja for the final spot in World Cup squad

Both players have stepped up and delivered in recent times.

Vijay Shankar
Vijay Shankar. (Photo by Kerry Marshall/Getty Images)

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With the final step to the World Cup selection process being underway, it’s alarming for the two contenders of the last remaining spot of the mega-event. The two major candidates contesting for the final vacant spot in the World Cup squad are –Vijay Shankar, the 28-year-old middle-order batsman who is also a pace bowling option and the veteran Ravindra Jadeja who never fails to surprise.

India are currently playing Australia in a home series consisting of five One Day International matches after which India’s next 50-over affair will be the big event itself. In such a situation, the only way to discern the correct candidate for the final spot in the squad is this series itself. Captain Virat Kohli has already voiced his opinion regarding the selection factor. Even head coach Ravi Shastri has hinted the same.

But it was regarding the Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant case. Anyhow, it simply means that the Indian Premier League, which is scheduled right before the World Cup is not a selection metric at all. Even in Shankar and Jadeja’s case, it is apparent that not the T20 league but the ongoing five-match ODI series against Australia will be the deciding factor as to who takes hold of the final spot in the World Cup squad.

According to a report in The Indian Express, the selection panel led by MSK Prasad has already cemented at least 14 candidates who will fly to England for ICC’s biggest event, just barring one final spot. Reports also suggest that the Indian selectors want the two cricketers in question- Ravindra Jadeja and Vijay Shankar- to prove their merit in the current home series against Australia. Jadeja and not Yuzvendra Chahal was selected to play in the first ODI, that took place in Hyderabad.

Pandya’s injury can be an opportunity for Shankar

Just ahead of the ongoing home series against Australia, frontline all-rounder Hardik Pandya dropped out due to a lower back injury. That apparently has been an unanticipated opportunity for Vijay Shankar, who has only played five ODI matches till now for India. Anyhow, the national selectors are eagerly judging his skills and mettle like a hawk throughout this ODI series to finally settle over whether he’s worthy of a World Cup opportunity.

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