They’ve been stars of their respective teams for over a decade in 50-over cricket, but Chris Gayle and MS Dhoni should call time on their ODI careers when this World Cup comes to an end.
The BCCI has recently announced the 15-member squad for the ICC Cricket World Cup, with Virat Kohli leading the side and Rohit Sharma named as the vice-captain. India will face South Africa in their first match, on the fifth of June.
India’s squad: Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Vijay Shankar, MS Dhoni (wicket-keeper), Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami.
Many were surprised with this team and some were disappointed, because of the exclusion of the 33-year-old Ambati Rayadu and the young and talented Rishab Pant. BCCI has announced that Vijay Shankar would become India’s number four for the World Cup.
He was picked over Rayadu since Shankar provides all three dimensions, in the form of batting, bowling and fielding. Later on, Rayadu tweeted saying “Just Ordered a new set of 3D glasses to watch the world cup”.
BCCI has told the media, that they have decided not to take any action regarding that tweet since he did it because he was emotional.
Four fast bowlers have been named to assist the Indian team for the World Cup preparations, they are Navdeep Saini, Avesh Khan, Khaleel Ahmed and Deepak Chahar. These players will help the batsmen to adapt to the pace and swing and prepare accordingly.
The five standby players for the World Cup include two batsmen, two fast bowlers and one spinner in the form of Ambati Rayadu, Rishab Pant, Navdeep Saini, Ishant Sharma and Axar Patel.
Except for Rayadu, all of them are having a good IPL currently. The board has taken five different players, as all of them are different in their own ways.
Ambati Rayadu is experienced and has won games for India before. Rishab Pant was taken because of his hard-hitting abilities.
Meanwhile, the two bowlers are also different in their own ways. Navdeep Saini can bowl really fast, and he touches the 150 mark consistently, but he lacks the experience which Ishant Sharma possess.
Since the World Cup is in England both these bowlers will be able to do well, if they get a chance. Axar Patel is selected as the lone backup spinner, in case any of the spinners get injured, but Axar has a much lesser possibility for a call up since chances of injuries for spinners is much lesser when compared with the fast bowlers or the batsmen.
Overall, India as a team is really strong. If they find the right combination and assess the conditions well, from the beginning, then India are surely the favourites to win the World Cup.