ICC World Cup 2019: Zaheer Khan picks his Indian squad for the tournament
“I still feel the four fast bowler option is still important."
Updated - Jan 31, 2019 6:27 pm
The World Cup fever is not too far away and experts are already coming up with their own picks for the mega tournament kicking off on May 30 with the match between hosts England and South Africa. India’s first game in the tournament will be on June 5 against the Proteas and former pacer Zaheer Khan has already picked his squad that will be in the quest for the third world title after 1983 and 2011. India will be heading for this year’s WC under the captaincy of Virat Kohli who will be the seventh skipper to lead India in the quadrennial event.
India, who have won five of their last six ODI series’, including four abroad, will be going into the tournament as one of the favourites. The Men in Blue recently beat Australia 2-1 in an away series and are also leading the current five-match series in New Zealand 3-1. The Asian powerhouse is ranked second in the 50-overs format with hosts England in the top position and a lot of players are in good touch that make the experts hopeful of a good show in the mega event this summer.
Zaheer, who played three World Cups for India including two finals one of which India won, said the Indian players have started picking their game at the right time and are now a brute force to reckon with. Speaking on Cricbuzz Live, the 40-year-old said he never had any doubt over MS Dhoni’s chances of playing this World Cup. His concern is rather picking the fast bowlers.
Zaheer concerned with number of fast bowlers in side
“The main factor which will up for the debate is basically you want to go with four fast bowlers and Hardik Pandya or you want to take that chance and say okay, Hardik Pandya is our fourth seamer,” Zaheer said, adding the latter option would give India the space to accommodate an extra batsman. According to him, two players out of Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik and KL Rahul would get a nod if Pandya is picked as the fourth bowler.
“I still feel the four fast bowler option is still important. Considering the fact that World Cup is going to be a long tournament. So you don’t want a bowler to come from outside and right away try to fit in the squad. So when you are picking your squad, you would want to cover all your bases,” he added.
Here is what Zaheer’s Indian squad for World Cup 2019 looks like
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (captain), MS Dhoni (wk), Ambati Rayudu/Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Rishabh Pant and KL Rahul/a fast bowler.