Mumbai: Dhoni and Virat Kohli are the only 2 surviving members of India’s 2011 World Cup-winning squad in the team for the 2019 World Cup which was named on Monday in Mumbai. MSK Prasad’s selection committee named a 15-man squad which will travel to England under Virat Kohli.
There were no surprises in the squad. Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Shami picked themselves.
The debate would have centred around the other four. KL Rahul was picked as back-up opener while Vijray Shankar found a place as a batsman who could bowl. He is likely to start in the playing XI while Kedar Jadhav has had a major impact as a middle-order batsman and a partnership breaker with his part-time off-spin.
The main talking point leading up to the selection meeting was Rishabh Pant vs Dinesh Karthik? Should the selectors have gone for a wicketkeeper batsman who is being seen as a possible successor to MS Dhoni? At the end, what really tilted the scales in favour of Dinesh Karthik?
MSK Prasad said Pant was unlucly to miss out and Karthik’s ability to deal with pressure situations won him a berth. Rishabh Pant is only 21 and he will get many more opportunities to show he deserves a World Cup berth in four years’ time.MS Dhoni had led India to World Cup glory in 2011 and Virat Kohli had impressed as an up and coming player with crucial knocks in the opening game against Bangladesh and in the final against Sri Lanka. Dhoni led India to the semifinals of the 2015 World Cup and even though he stepped down as captain 2 years ago, his experience and wisdom will be key for Virat Kohli.
Then there are others in the side who played the 2015 World Cup. Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ravindra Jadeja were all part of the World Cup squad four years ago in Australia and New Zealand.
Dinesh Karthik had played the 2007 World Cup in West Indies when India crashed out of the group stages. That leaves as many as 7 first-timers in the Indian team for the 2019 World Cup.