India will announce its 15-member squad for the ICC World Cup 2019 on April 15, confirmed the Board of Control for Cricket in India on Monday, April 8. It has been learnt that skipper of the Indian cricket team Virat Kohli will meet with the senior selection committee to decide the squad which will travel to England in May.
The meeting between Kohli and the selection committee led by MSK Prasad will take place at the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai next Monday. Prasad had earlier said that the squad will be announced on or before April 20. The deadline for announcing the squad is April 23 and till now only New Zealand has announced their World Cup squad.
Prasad is confident that a very good Indian team will be travelling to England in order to reclaim the world title. "I am confident that we are going to announce a good team. We have worked on this for almost one and a half years. We have observed all the players, tested good combinations," he had said last week. It must be noted that changes can be made to the final World Cup squad till seven days are left for the tournament to begin. Any changes made after that will have to be approved by the International Cricket Council's Event Technical Committee.
Kohli had earlier said that performances in the IPL will have no bearing in the national team's mindset but one has to factor in the constant failures of Ambati Rayudu going into the tournament. The right-hand batsman has not been among the runs since the series against the Windies at home last year with his only noteworthy contribution being the 90 runs he scored against New Zealand in the fifth ODI of India's tour at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington.
The other place that is still up for grabs is that of the second wicketkeeper with Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant fighting for that slot. While Pant has failed to come good in his limited opportunities, the team management is extremely sold on his potential. He is a match-winner on his day but that potential has not translated into performances in the Indian blue. Dinesh Karthik, on the other hand, is a reliable finisher and is perhaps one of the best in the world at the moment. But Kedar Jadhav's all-round ability makes him better suited for the number 6 slot.
Here are the players who look certain to board the flight that will take the team to England.
Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, MS Dhoni (WK), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Vijay Shankar and KL Rahul.
India needs to constantly assess the fitness of the players who will be selected in the squad. The IPL can be a strenuous tournament with the schedule and the frequent travelling. The likes of Bumrah, Shami, Bhuvi and Pandya may need some rest given the workload and injury record.
India will play its first match of the World Cup against South Africa at the Rose Bowl in Southampton on June 5.