World Cup 2019: In less than 3 months the gentlemen’s game is set to return to its birthplace for its quadrennial showdown “World Cup, 2019”. This extravaganza hosted by England and Wales is once again going to pitch in the mights of the game to claim their supremacy and thus by, bling into the annals of history. Team India led by arguably one of the greats of the game Virat Kohli once again would start as favourites with a balanced side best suiting for the English summer.
The heavyweights with a bunch of highly talented and seasoned lads had in the past ODI overseas year conquered all the big guns South Africa, Australia and New Zealand at their very own fortresses, with a rare ‘not-to-worry’ slip up in England. Altogether it’s been that kind of a year for “Team India” which they would have hoped for running into the world cup.
But the major question lingering amongst the Indian cricketing fraternity and fans is about who’s gonna make it onboard that flight to London. MSK Prasad and Kohli have a good headache to deal with the selection of the team and given Kohli’s enthusiasm for trying out players even in these wee hours, precisely the last ODI series before the curtain raiser in June, hope the ‘spoilt for options’ gamble would only bring out the best possible cards onto the table come the extravaganza.
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GAMBLE KING KOHLI
Team India, in their build-up to the world cup, has tried pool of players from its domestic quiver in both bowling and batting departments ranging from Shreyas Iyer, Ajinkya Rahane, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik, Ambati Rayudu, Kedhar Jadhav, Rishabh Pant and Shubman Gill. All given a decent run in the quest to strengthen the middle order. The likes of Mohammed Siraj, Siddarth Kaul, Basil Thampi, Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav and Khaleel Ahmed have all been made to put in their respective yards in pursuit to join Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar who carved their niche in making Team India’s pace attack one of the best in the present cricketing world.
With the top 3 being amongst the runfest, “No 4 & No 6” remains the much-nuanced slots as Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, Kedhar Jadhav, KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant all breathing down one another ’s neck. While Rayudu for his consistency and an average of 50.22 has the skippers trust. Kedhar Jadhav whose golden arm with the ball and his finishing abilities with the bat have had both of them hold the slots, for now, provided the later stays fit. The recent form of the flamboyant KL Rahul in T20 series might bring him into the reckoning to be a reserve opener for a slightly out of form Dhawan or a back up No 4 as he also seems to have the captains backing.
ALL-ROUNDERS, PACERS AND THE SPIN DUO
And, the young and fearless exciting talent Rishabh Pant known for his blistering heroics with the bat could also make it into the squad to be the back up keeper and also as a future vision, hinted upon by his inclusion into the present series at the cost of the vastly experienced Dinesh Karthik who couldn’t cement his place in spite of an ample amount of chances. Hardik’s seam-up and massive hitting all-round abilities make him an exciting certainty in the playing 11 provided he gets fit on time.
The seam nuances seem to have withered down after Mohammed Shami hit prime form making him the obvious partner for the sensational Bumrah, while equally good Bhuvaneshwar could be benched initially and most probably left-armer Khaleel Ahmed will be taking up the fourth pacer spot, provided the last look in Siddharth Kaul if given a chance comes up with an exceptional performance in the present ODI series with Australia. Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav being the X-Factors, the spin duo is going to play a major role in Team India’s success.
Finally, the uncertainty still looms large on who’s got the last ticket to the world cup, will it be down amongst the allrounders Ravindra Jadeja, Vijay Shankar or will the management and the skipper go ahead and back the vastly experienced DK.
KOHLI’S IMPULSE OR THE MAHI WAY?
Kohli’s flamboyance also reflects upon his captaincy, chop and change shuffle endeavor to knit the best squad on board to England and Wales. His persistent experiment even in the ultimate ODI series before the world cup is a symbol of resurgence of boldness, perhaps gracing in the light of success and domination in the world cricket. Being used to MSD’s style of scouting the team composition and trusting their abilities, thus by enabling them to mentally prepare to back their skill set is vastly distinctive to that of Kohli’s style.
Kohli prefers to have a wider core of 18-20 players at the team’s discretion requiring them to adorn their roles in lieu of the team’s combination and fitness glitches. As the world cup fastly approaches and the excitement slowly starts to grip, brace yourself, fellas, as our hopes once again take the sojourn in quest of cricket’s ultimate glory.
PROBABLE WORLD CUP 2019 SQUAD
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli(c), Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni, Kedhar Jadhav, Kl Rahul, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadhav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Ravindra Jadeja/Vijay Shankar/Khaleel Ahmed.
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