World Cup 2019: Is this Indian squad good enough to win the tournament?
A couple of players, who were expected to be picked for the World Cup, have been left out.
Updated - Apr 16, 2019 7:37 pm
The ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 is less than a couple of months away, so expectedly, the participating nations have started to announce their squads for the mega-event. New Zealand was the first team to do so a couple of weeks ago. Australia announced their 15 on Monday and now India has joined the two nations from down-under to come up with their list of 15 players that will be flying to England in May, later this year.
The final Indian squad was picked by a 5-man Committee led by the Chief selector of the Indian Cricket Team, MSK Prasad, at the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai, this afternoon. The majority of the selected players were expected to be there in the list anyway, but as always, for some, there may be a few surprising exclusions (and inclusions) in there.
Rishabh Pant, the dynamic wicketkeeper-batsman, has been ignored by the selectors and so has Ambati Rayudu, who some felt was fit to play at No. 4 for India in the tournament. Vijay Shankar, KL Rahul and Dinesh Karthik have somehow managed to keep themselves in the scheme of things for the World Cup this time.
Let’s analyse the Indian squad a bit more and try to find out if the 15 selected men are capable enough to bring the coveted trophy home:
Might in the batting
India is known to have a destructive batting line-up. Be it the Gavaskar-era, or the Sachin-era, or even the Kohli-era now, this Asian nation has always prided herself on producing some of the sweetest timers of the ball. Rohit Sharma, the only person in the world to score three double-centuries in ODI cricket, can be expected to open the innings for India with another successful batsman Shikhar Dhawan.
Virat Kohli can come in at 3 and play through the middle-overs giving the lower middle-order the luxury to milk as many runs as possible from the death overs. Vijay Shankar, according to MSK Prasad, will bat at 4 for the Men in Blue. He may not be too experienced, but by what he has shown to the world thus far, it is fair to say that he is a capable batsman who knows exactly when to smash the bowlers and when not.
MS Dhoni, the veteran and probably the best wicketkeeper in the tournament, can play at 5, given his big-hitting abilities. He may even bat at 4 if Shankar fails to make it to the eleven, giving either Dinesh Karthik or KL Rahul a chance to show their skills at No. 5. Only two, from Hardik Pandya, Kedar Jadhav and Ravindra Jadeja, are likely to take the field together in the tournament. They, most likely, will bat at 6 and 7 depending on the situation of the game.
Taking a look at this batting line-up, we can safely conclude that the chances of the batting letting India down in the tournament are minimal.
This Indian team is entering the World Cup as one of the favourites because it isn’t entirely about their batting this time around. With top-class pacers like Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami in the team, complimenting the young and talented spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, India, by no means, are short of good bowlers for the World Cup. English conditions are known to assist swing bowlers, so Bhuvneshwar and his likes will most likely have a heavy say in the bowling department.
Vijay Shankar and Hardik Pandya can chip in with some overs in the middle effectively, and so can Kedar Jadhav and Ravindra Jadeja. All of them have had their good days with the ball more than once, making them trustworthy not only to stop the runs but also to break partnerships. The big thing is, we can’t really call any of these bowlers a part-timer.
Kohli will undoubtedly be happy with the number and quality of bowlers he will have at his disposal, come June, the 5th. This is probably the most diverse and robust bowling line-up India has ever taken into a tournament like this.
Fantastic fielding unit
The Indian Cricket Team has made a lot of progress in the fielding department, in the last two decades or so. It all started with Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif, who took the entire nation by surprise with their skills and athleticism on the field. Their fielding changed a lot of things in Indian cricket, as players and coaches started to take fielding much more seriously than they did before. These changes gave rise to exceptional fielders like Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja and Virat Kohli, among so many others.
The team that will travel to England will have no shortage of good fielders, more so, because Virat is the captain and we all know how keen he is to have a fit and athletic team on the field. In the fielding department for India, though there are possible weak links, but they will certainly have plans in place on covering them. Since the team firmly believes in “runs saved, are runs scored”.
MS Dhoni behind the stumps is the fastest pair of hands in the business. The big man has maintained himself on top of the wicket-keeping charts for more than a decade now and is still getting better.
Safe conclusion would be that Kohli & Co. are more than covered in all the three departments going into the World Cup, just that the players will have to deliver to their potential. So yeah, India are in with a very good chance of winning the trophy for the third time, later this year.
India’s squad for the World Cup:
Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Vijay Shankar, Lokesh Rahul (WK), Mahendra Singh Dhoni (WK), Dinesh Karthik (WK), Hardik Pandya, Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah