The week started off well with The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announcing the 15-man India squad for the ICC World Cup 2019. Chairman of selection committee MSK Prasad and acting secretary of the Indian board Amitabh Chaudhary, read out the names of the players with some minor replacements.
The squad comprises of Virat Kohli as the Captain and Rohit Sharma as the Vice-Captain. The group have some new and old names – Shikhar Dhawan, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Kedar Jadhav, KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Vijay Shankar, Jasprit Bumrah, and Dinesh Karthik.
A combination of experience and talent can be observed in the new crew. The team has fair number of batsmen, bowlers and all-rounders.
Board stated that they had been planning on India squad for ICC World Cup soon after the completion of the Champions Trophy, where they had lost the final to Pakistan and it was after that the selectors decided to consider the game of young players. Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav were added for being the two wrist spinners, Vijay Shankar was preferred over Ambati Rayudu for offering “3 dimensions” and Dinesh Karthik was preferred over Rishabh Pant due to his superior wicket keeping skill.
In 2015, MS Dhoni had led the team well with his captaincy and wicket keeping skills but this time the BCCI showed a special concern towards him by adding Dinesh Karthik in the team in case MS Dhoni faces any back injury during an important match.
MSK Prasad said in the video by India today, “The situation that was discussed among the selection committee is one of them will play in 11 provided MS is injured. So, under such situations, in a crunch matches, who is the best guy who can handle the pressure. So that is the reason that went in the favour of Dinesh Karthik. Otherwise Pant is full of talent, lot of time for him and it is just unfortunate that he is missed out.”
This new squad will play their first match against South Africa at Southampton on June 5, 2019 and will strive to win the third World cup title.
“In the team, we have the luxury of 7 bowlers. We have covered all the bases and this is one of the most balanced Indian sides for the World Cup,” Prasad said.