Sports desk, April 15: Dinesh Karthik has beaten Rishabh Pant in the race to become the second wicket-keeper in the Indian team for the upcoming World Cup in England and Wales.The five wise men of Indian cricket, led by M.S.K. Prasad, met in Mumbai on Monday and picked the 15-member squad.
Vijay Shankar goes to the showpiece event as the number four batsman and Ravindra Jadeja has been picked as the third spinner ahead of a fourth pacer. KL Rahul joins in as the back-up opener.
While skipper Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, M.S. Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah picked themselves on the back of some consistent show in recent times, there were three main areas of concern that the selectors needed to take a call on.
The much-debated number four slot, whether Pant or Karthik go as the second wicket-keeper behind MS Dhoni and finally, if the team will pick a fourth pacer or an additional third spinner considering that the wickets will be on the slower side at this time of the year in England.
The current Indian team management and selectors have often spoken about continuity and that is exactly what they have done with regards to the team for the World Cup.
Having tried Shankar at the top, they have backed him in the squad. The fact that Shankar continued to bat at number three or four in this edition of the IPL for the Sunrisers Hyderabad was another hint that the team management had asked him to settled down to the idea of batting at the top.
The World Cup starts on 30 May with a fixture between hosts England and South Africa in London. India’s opening game will be on 5 June against South Africa in Southampton.
Virat Kohli’s men will be playing two warm-up matches before the big tournament, against New Zealand on 25 May and then against Bangladesh on 28 May.
Australia are the defending champions this time around after winning the 2015 edition on home soil.
Source: The Quint