On 15th April, BCCI announced the 15-man squad of India for the upcoming 2019 World Cup. The squad has some surprise inclusions and exclusions. Chief selector MSK Prasad gave apt reasons behind every selection.
Prasad had previously aid that there were only few spots left for discussion. the spots were the No. 4 batsman, reserve opener and backup wicketkeeper. Dinesh Karthik edged out Rishabh Pant to land the spot of backup keeper.
KL Rahul was selected as a reserve opener and a backup to Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan. But the biggest surprise was the exclusion of Ambati Rayudu from the No. 4 spot. He was almost certain to go to England and Wales, but Vijay Shankar was chosen in place of him.
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Shankar gives three dimensional approach : Prasad
The spot of No. 4 of the Indian team has been a topic of discussion for some time now. The selectors are now placing faith on Shankar after trying out a few names. Shankar’s clean-hitting abilities, superior fielding and added bowling helped him grab the spot.
In the press conference Prasad was asked about not picking Rayudu despite giving him a longer run. “We have been planning soon after the completion of the Champions Trophy (2017) for this. But let me tell you that in the last month or so, there have been a couple of players who have really cropped up like Vijay Shankar,” Prasad said.
“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,” the chief selector added.