Cricket’s most coveted event- the 50 overs Cricket World Cup is all set to commence from 30th May 2019. The World Cup opener will be played between England and South Africa. For this mega Sporting Event, 10 teams will fight it out on the cricket pitch.
The finals will be played on the 14th of July. In the given tournament setup there are 48 matches scheduled in 46 days. The Indian team will play its first game on June 5 against South Africa. The defending champions Australia will begin their campaign on June 1, against Afghanistan. Steve Smith and David Warner may return to the team after suspension and will have a tough task ahead of them to try and help Australia defend their title successfully.
Most teams are looking to find the right balance in the squad. Indian team too is looking for their ideal combinations. Here is an attempt to look at the World Cup Probables for the Indian Team for the 2019 World Cup.
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Ambati Rayudu
Debatable:- Back up openers- KL Rahul/ Ajinkya Rahane/Shubman Gill
The opening position is not much of an issue at all. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan are a surety in the Playing 11 and is arguably the best opening pair in limited overs cricket all over the world. Time and again the duo has given a solid foundation to the team and have shown a remarkable amount of consistency.
Kl Rahul might get a chance as a back opener in the team. Up until a few months ago, Rahul was a confirmed name in the World Cup squad, however, his inconsistent form has put a question mark regarding his place in the World Cup Squad. With Rahul out of form, somebody like a Rahane or a young Shubman Gill might get to open the batting in case Rohit or Shikhar miss a game during the course of the long tournament. But the general feeling is that it might be a little late for Shubman Gill and he may have wait for his turn while the selectors are not even considering Ajinkya Rahane in the limited overs setup as of now.
Captain Virat Kohli should ideally bat No. 3 for India and there is no doubt about his class and consistency. Till date, Ambati Raydu is a primary contender for the fourth position despite his poor form in the ongoing series. Raydu has done just about sufficient to book himself a place in the World Cup 2019, whether he gets to feature in the Playing 11 will depend a lot on his performance in the remaining matches and the conditions of the venue.
MS Dhon, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Kartik
Debatable: Rishabh Pant
MS Dhoni’s experience will be extremely useful in World Cup 2019. Although Dhoni didn’t have the best of seasons with the bat last year, he was back in form with a Player of the Series Performance in 2019. As a wicketkeeper and a leader from behind the stumps, Dhoni is one of the best in the world.
Dinesh Kartik might as well go as the second wicketkeeper-batsman. He has been doing brilliantly in the opportunities given to him and his role as a finisher has helped Dhoni take his time and then play the big shots towards the end.
Rishabh Pant can just be the X factor that India is looking for. Given’s Pant clean hitting ability, he can definitely change the course of the game at critical situations. However, Pant’s place in the squad seems uncertain.
Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Kedar Jadhav, Vijay Shankar
For the all-rounder's position, there is a healthy battle among these players. Ticket of Hardik Pandya is confirmed. Pandya gives a seam-bowling all-rounder option. In England conditions, that will be a huge plus for the Indian team. For the second place, Kedar Jadhav automatically fits in since he has done really well with the bat and has also been icing on the cake with the ball for India.
Given his recent form, Vijay Shankar also seems to have made it to the flight to England. Keeping in mind the English conditions, Shankar's addition will allow the captain the option of playing both Shankar and Pandya in the Playing 11.
Jadeja's only chance of getting a spot in the World Cup squad is if the selectors are looking for a backup spinning option. As a back spinner and a more capable batsman than both Kuldeep and Chahal, Jadeja too has an outside chance of making it to the World Cup Squad.
Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal
In the spin department, selectors have no issue. Both Kuldeep and Chahal are ideal. This spinning duo is one of the main reasons for India’s extraordinary accomplishments in 2018 and 2019 so far. They have taken wickets in the middle overs which has made the job of the bowlers in the death a lot easier. The performance of Indian spinners will play a crucial role in India's World Cup Campaign.
Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami
In the quick bowling department, Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar are automatic selections based on their performances. Bhuvi and Bumrah make one of the best bowling duos that the country has produced and now that Bumrah can bowl with the new ball and Bhuvi at the death, the Indian bowling has made great strides in their journey.
Shami too might have done good enough to secure himself a place in the 15-member squad. However, Khaleel’s place is questionable since he has been leaking a lot many runs without wickets in his previous few outings. Somebody like an Umesh Yadav might be considered but his selection unlikely, unless India goes into the World Cup with 4 seamers in the squad.