After the loss in the series against Australia, the Indian team is suddenly looking around a wee bit hassled. There are spots up for grabs and even though captain Virat Kohli believes IPL form will not be a factor, there are several reports which suggest otherwise.
India's problematic middle order needs fixing and this IPL season could be the answer to finding a solution before the World Cup. Here in this article, we take a look at three players who can seal their World Cup berth with a bumper IPL season.
He made a booming comeback to the Indian team by sizzling in the T20I series against Australia. However, he got just a solitary ODI to present his case and hence, this season is extremely crucial for the right-hander. He could also keep wickets for Punjab and this gives him an extra wing to work on. With MS Dhoni being the regular wicket-keeper in the World Cup squad, an in-form can slot in as the back-up wicket-keeper or a regular number 4 batsman in the side.
For some reason, the selectors shunned him out of the Indian ODI side for the home series against Australia and preferred Rishabh Pant instead. However, young Pant did not look too impressive with the gloves and this once again given Karthik an opportunity to stake his claim for the World Cup squad.
He will lead the Kolkata Knight Riders and can decide the batting position for himself. He did a great job finishing the innings last season, but he could well man the number 4 spot for his IPL side in what can be an audition for the World Cup squad. Also, like KL Rahul, he can be slotted in as the secondary wicket-keeper.
After doing decently in Australia and New Zealand, Ambati Rayudu fizzled away in the home series against Australia. He was benched for the final three ODI matches as there is a growing perception that he cannot handle pace.
However, when he walks out to open the innings for Chennai Super Kings this season, he can set the tone not only for his side but also send out a message loud and clear to the selectors that he needs a longer rope in the Indian side to perform more consistently.