When the Indian squad was named for the upcoming World Cup, the name of Vijay Shankar, although not very left-field, was certainly one which took people by surprise. According to the chief selector, Shankar was preferred over Ambati Rayudu, because he offers three-dimensions on the field and this tipped the scales in his favour.
After several analytical articles, Virat Kohli, the man who will lead the side has spoken. The skipper, in a chat with India Today, revealed that he was very happy with the World Cup squad and that he is excited to lead this bunch. Also, he reiterated that Vijay Shankar offers great balance to the side and hence, his inclusion was a great move.
Importance of Dhoni to this Indian side
Speaking about the importance of MS Dhoni to the side, Kohli said that the former skipper was like a glue for this Indian team and that his presence was a great cushion for him as a captain. Also, he said that he is looking forward to leading this bunch as there is a sense of excitement in the group which he finds really upbeat.
"Even when criticism was coming his way we within the team knew what he brought to the table. Now everyone is saying he is the glue. The truth is he is and binds the team together," Kohli said in the chat.
India has two game-changers in Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal and the skipper hopes that his wrist-spinners breaks the game open for him in the World Cup.
"Kuldeep and Chahal in tandem will be a major factor in England. Even if they give 70 runs in 10 overs as long as they get me 3 wickets I am happy," Kohli said which has clarified their roles in the side.
This statement is in line with what former England captain Michael Vaughan said after the squad was announced. As per the Ashes-winning skipper, the conditions in England have changed in the recent past and it is no longer a haven for seam bowlers. According to him, spinners and smart seamers hold the aces and more often than not, win games on the placid pitches in the country.
Dhoni, who has been in good form this year, had found the backing of coach Ravi Shastri during the tour of New Zealand. Also, he commands the respect of several players in the side, which has made him an indispensable member of this Indian side.
"Nobody is good enough to criticise MS Dhoni. If you talk about him, do you even know anything about cricket? Dhoni is like Sachin Tendulkar, Kapil Dev and Sunil Gavaskar. These guys come once in 30-40 years. He is an ornament to the game. He has been the captain of a number one Test team, and has two World Cups to his name," Shastri said in one of the interviews during the tour of New Zealand.