MS Dhoni has been named the captain of India's World Cup squad and the contingent has a surprise inclusion as off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has also been included in the flight to England.
Cricbuzz, a cricket news website and application, is running a show wherein their experts are picking the World Cup squads of various and recently, former India cricketer picked his Indian World Cup squad. This team has a place for either KL Rahul or Shikhar Dhawan, Ashwin is a part of his 15-member contingent and he also picked three wicketkeepers, Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant, along with Dhoni.
But the former middle-order batsman pulled a surprise for the ages when he named Dhoni the captain of the side and current Indian captain Virat Kohli was only a regular member. Justifying his choice, which took the presenters of the show by surprise, Jadeja said, "If there is anyone in this world who thinks Kohli's captaincy is better than Dhoni's, please come and debate with me."
"If you see, this is only the team for the World Cup, not the future. We have now come to that stage [of the World Cup]. When the planning happened to make Kohli the captain, it was with an eye towards a future without Dhoni," Jadeja added.
But since Dhoni is still a part of India's squad and is a sure-fire member of the starting XI, Jadeja wants him to captain the side because according to him, Dhoni is tactically superior to the current Indian skipper. "I don't think anyone here, or anywhere else, can tell me that in terms of captaincy and strategy, Dhoni is number 2. Hence, Dhoni is the captain of my World Cup squad," Jadeja rounded his argument.
Jadeja also spoke about the Dhawan and Rahul selection saying that both are very good cricketers and hence only one can be selected as he would not fancy a quality player sitting on the bench as a backup.
The 48-year-old also left out Saturday's man of the match Kedar Jadhav from his squad but included namesake Ravindra Jadeja. The former cricketer justified picking Ashwin and Jadeja on top of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal by saying that spinners will win India matches, hence India needed replacements for spinners.
Talking about the inclusion of Dinesh Karthik, who is not a part of India's squad against Australia, Ajay Jadeja said, "Dinesh Karthik is there in my squad because if my opener gets injured, he can play there; and not just that, from number 3 right down to number 7, he can slot in anywhere. See one never knows who gets injured so the backup can never be man for man."
Ajay Jadeja added that his playing XI would feature five batsmen, Hardik Pandya as the all-rounder and five pure bowlers.
Ajay Jadeja's World Cup Squad: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan/KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni (C & WK), Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, Ambati Rayudu, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin