BCCI chief selector MSK Prasad has announced India’s 15-man squad for the upcoming World Cup 2019. There weren’t much surprises in the squad selection. However the role of No. 4 batsman was answered by Prasad.
Ambati Rayudu, who was previously backed for that slot, wasn’t selected in the team. Prasad clarified that they tried many players for that slot. Rayudu was the brightest prospect and got additional chances, but couldn’t cement his place.
Prasad backed all-rounder Vijay Shankar for the No. 4 slot. He said the Tamil all-rounder is a batsman who can bowl as well. Vijay came into the scene after the injury to Hardik Pandya and impressed everyone with his skill set.
“After the Champions Trophy, we tried quite a few people [at No.4]. We gave a few more chances to Rayudu. What Vijay Shankar brings is three dimensional. We are looking at him at no. 4 to begin with,” MSK Prasad said after announcing the squad in Mumbai.
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KL Rahul as reserve opener
The selection of KL Rahul to the squad might have grabbed a lot of eyeballs. This is because Rahul has played a handful of One-Dayers and had meek performances overseas.
Prasad has clarified that Rahul might be used as a reserve opener. There is also a possibility of using him in the middle order depending on the circumstances. If Rohit or Shikhar gets injured, then only Rahul will take their place.
“To begin with, KL Rahul will be reserve opener. If the need arises the team management will take a call on him playing in the middle-order,” MSK Prasad said while addressing the media on Monday.
Khaleel and Navdeep as reserve pacers
It seems that for the first time India will go in with a pace attack which is capable of destroying any opposition. The trio of Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah are very talented.
However India didn’t opt for a fourth seamer. The World Cup will be played in England and Wales, and taking in concern of the English pitches, a fourth seamer could have been handy.
Nevertheless India have kept two reserve pacers in case any main pacer gets injured. Khaleel Ahmed and Navdeep Saini has been named as reserve pacers. Khaleel has impressed in the limited opportunities he got while Saini is in contention for a national place for a long time.