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ICC World Cup 2019: Ravi Shastri wanted a 16-member squad for the tournament

"I don't get involved in selection. If we have any opinion, we let the captain known."

Ravi Shastri
Ravi Shastri. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

Team India announced a 15-member squad for ICC World Cup 2019 which resulted in a few heartbreaks. Vijay Shankar was picked over the veteran batsman Ambati Rayudu. Also, Rishabh Pant was ignored despite performing well in the Test arena. There have been several debates about the picks and the exclusions. At last, the head coach opened up about the squad for the quadrennial tournament.

Ravi Shastri said that he would have liked a 16-member squad for the tournament. At the same time, he also urged the players who were left out “not to lose hearts”. Moreover, he made it clear that he wasn’t involved in the team selection and told that the opinions were put forward to the captain, Virat Kohli.

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It’s a funny game, there could be injuries

“I don’t get involved in selection. If we have any opinion, we let the captain known,” Shastri said. He said that someone or the other had to miss out due to the limitation to stick to 15 players. The head coach still opined that 16 members made more sense for a one-and-a-half months’ long tournament.

“When you only have 15 to pick, there is bound to be someone or the other who misses out, which is very unfortunate. I would have preferred 16 players. We had mentioned to the ICC that in a tournament that long, 16 players makes sense. But the diktat was 15,” he added as quoted in The Times of India (TOI).

Ravi Shastri also empathised about the players who were left out. He noted that cricket is a funny game and said that there might be injuries midway through the tournament. The former cricketer mentioned that they could be called up at any time.

“They (who missed out) shouldn’t lose heart. It’s a funny game. There could be injuries. So you never know when you could be called up,” he said. While the top three are fixed, Ravi Shastri felt that they can be very flexible from the number four position. He added that England are the favourites to win the tournament.

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