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ICC World Cup 2019: Mohammad Azharuddin picks his Indian playing XI for the tournament

As for the rest of the line-up, Azhar didn’t do much shuffling.

Mohammad Azharuddin
Mohammad Azharuddin. (Photo By Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

With the road to the World Cup getting narrower with each passing day, each team is trying to figure out the best playing combination for the event. A lot of former players are being asked to draft their own playing XI from which Kohli and Co. can take reference. Former Indian skipper Mohammad Azharuddin has joined the bandwagon and has come up with a list of players he would like to, and not like to see as a part of India’s squad.

For starters, Azhar feels that Rishabh Pant should be picked ahead of Ambati Rayudu for the long-debated no. 4 batting slot. Several players have been tried for that particular batting position, and in the recent past, former captain MS Dhoni also performed well batting at no. 4. But according to Azhar, the left-handed wicketkeeper-batsman’s attacking approach is what gives him an extra edge over the others.

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As far as the rest of the line-up is concerned, Azhar didn’t do much shuffling. The squad remains more or less the same from the tours of Australia and New Zealand. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan as the openers, followed by Virat at no. 3. His middle-order comprises of Pant, Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, and Hardik Pandya. Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, and Yuzvendra Chahal will comprise India’s bowling armoury.

India will play Australia for a limited-overs series comprising of two T20Is and five ODIs starting from Sunday, February 24. This will also be India’s last international cricket assignment ahead of the World Cup. The Indian Premier League 2019 begins on March 23 and the entire tournament will be played in India despite general elections around the same time.

Mohammed Azharuddin’s Indian playing XI for WC 2019

Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli (C), Rishabh Pant, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav /Yuzvendra Chahal.

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