Ahead of the first ODI against South Africa, captain Virat Kohli today (January 31) said India's core players for next year's World Cup in England were identified and only one position was left for experimenting.
India's preparations for ICC World Cup 2019 will begin tomorrow (February 1) in the first of the six ODIs against the Proteas at Durban's Kingsmead ground.
On the eve of the match, skipper Kohli was asked about the current squad in South Africa and whether they had got the core of players for the quadrennial event in England.
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He replied, "Definitely, we feel that the core of players more or less sorted. It is about who takes up that one particular spot, it is not even spots above and below. It is about taking up that one particular spot which guys who have been given the opportunity need to capitalise and really string in performances that convince the management and the team very soon that the guy is meant to play at that spot for the team."
"I feel the core of players is more or less pretty strong at the moment. Obviously changes can happen at any stage. You don't know whether someone is going to be in form or not or what the team requires at certain stages. But how I see it, more or less the core is formed," the Delhi right-hander added.
The 29-year-old said they were still looking to "solidify" the number four position.
"Middle order (needs to be sorted). Lower middle order is more or less sorted. The combination is working well for us with Hardik (Pandya), Kedar (Jadhav) and MS (Dhoni) rotating and batting together. No. 4 is something which we have experimented with a lot in last few games or last couple of seasons. That is probably the only spot I see as of now that needs to be solidified. Otherwise the team looks pretty balanced," he explained.
On KL Rahul's chances of returning to ODI squad, the skipper said, "Anything is possible. KL (Rahul) is a quality player. He has played one-dayers for a while. His performances might be not as good as they are in Test cricket and T20 cricket. Anything is possible in future."
World Cup 2019 will be played from May 30 to July 15, 2019 in England.
India ODI squad for South Africa series: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni (wicketkeeper), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur.