The selectors, the Indian coach and the captain have all said that the workload of the players during the Indian Premier League will be monitored ahead of the World Cup. Considering the timing of the IPL, which ends just shortly before the start of the ICC World Cup, it also provides the selectors with an opportunity to look at different options and for players to find the right groove.
However, Indian captain Virat Kohli has now revealed that IPL form will have "no influence" on the World Cup team selection, calling the speculation a "very, very radical analysis". As India prepares to take on Australia in the five-match ODI series, the selectors will be keen to find a well-balanced squad and identify players for the couple of spots that are still up for grabs.
"No, I don't see the IPL having any influence on World Cup selection. I think that will be very, very radical sort of analysis," the Indian captain said on the eve of the first ODI. The captain also made it clear that one IPL does not make a good or bad player and that they already have a fairly settled squad at their disposal.
'Need to have a solid team'
"We need to have a solid team. Before we head into the IPL, we need to be absolutely clear of what team we want for the World Cup. I don't see anything changing on how the IPL goes for any of the players," he added.
Speaking about the team combinations in the ODI matches, Kohli wants to go in with regular bowling options owing to the fielding restrictions and the rampant batting order of the opponent.
"We will have to think about the combinations. I don't think playing a bowler less is a good idea because with the extra fielder in till the 40th over, it becomes very difficult to sort of get a few guys to chip in with a few overs here and there," he reflected.
KL Rahul, who made a sparkling return to the Indian team in the T20I series, found the backing of the skipper and this series could well be his chance to stake a claim for the World Cup squad.
"It augurs really well. KL, when he plays well, is operating at a different level I feel. ...it will be interesting to see what happens in the final World Cup squad. Definitely, he has made a strong case for himself. It's good he's in great nick and hopefully he can carry it forward," he added.