Don’t be surprised if Umesh Yadav is in the World Cup squad: Sanjay Manjrekar
Umesh also seems to be the part of the shortlisted 18 players for the World Cup.
Updated - Feb 16, 2019 1:19 pm
The selectors’ decision to include Siddarth Kaul in the ODI squad for the first two games against Australia made one thing crystal clear that the team is yet to identify its fourth pacer for the upcoming ICC World Cup. Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami are set to be the first three pacers of the team. But with conditions in England set to assist pacers, another fast-bowler would be important for the team as a back-up.
In the last few months, the team experimented extensively with Khaleel Ahmed. With the youngster being a left-arm pacer, the team tried him out in a bid to add variety to the attack. However, Khaleel’s performance in Australia and New Zealand made it clear that the youngster is not ready yet for a big tournament like the World Cup.
With uncertainty over India’s fourth pacer in the World Cup, former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar said that he would not be surprised if the team picks Umesh Yadav. Manjrekar’s comments came after the selectors named Umesh in the T20I squad for the series against Australia.
“Yes because if they don’t find any viable and dependable fourth pure seamer by the end of the T20I series they will go to Hardik Pandya and use him as a third or the fourth seamer. But there is I think a back-door entry for Umesh Yadav. Don’t be surprised if he is in the final squad there. In T20Is he has proved his worth for RCB. So this works out well for him,” Sanjay Manjrekar said in a conversation with ESPNCricinfo.
Umesh Yadav, meanwhile, played last of his 75 ODIs during the home series against Windies last year. He also played a couple of ODIs in England but was left out of the squad for the Asia Cup.
Plans for Team India
Meanwhile, chief selector MSK Prasad has revealed that they have finalised the final 18 for the World Cup. Prasad’s statement will be a big boost for Yadav as a good performance in the upcoming series and the Indian Premier League could very much seal his World Cup spot.
“We have shortlisted 18 players and we will rotate them before selecting the final World Cup squad. As far as workload management is concerned, it is yet to be worked out. There are discussions happening on that front and we will let you know,” Prasad told reporters after selecting the squads on Friday.
The T20I series against Australia will get underway on February 24 in Vizag. India will then take on the visitors in the five-match ODI series, starting March 2.