The ICC World Cup, which is the most prestigious tournament in the world of cricket is two years away from now. As of now several teams and the team managements started their preparations by picking the players insight of the highly celebrated cricketing event, which is going to be taken place in the sport’s home nation England & Wales.
Let us have a look at how the Indian team can be lined up for this prominent tournament:
After an impressive performance in the CT 2017 by the men in blue, fans are expecting them to lift the World Cup for the second time in eight years. The Virat Kohli led Indian team is one of the hot favourites for the title. English wickets no longer looking inclined for the seam bowlers there is no surprise in seeing some high scoring matches as the tournament progresses. So here is how the Indian team could be lined up for the highly decorated tournament.
1) ROHIT SHARMA
After getting promoted to the top of the order in an ODI against England in Dharamsala, he has been in a purple patch. Coming back into the side after being left out due to an injury, the hitman has shown his class at the CT 2017, notching up 308 runs at a blossoming average of 76, he is one of those players who could get into any team sheet in the world with the talent that he possesses, he is arguably the most talented batsman in the world. It is whatsoever no surprise in saying that India’s chances in the tournament will largely depend on the kind of start he provides at the top of the order.
2) SHIKHAR DHAWAN
The selection of the Delhi born left hander for the recently concluded ICC Champions Trophy 2017 which was held in England & Wales raised a few eyebrows. But the Dashing opener proved them wrong and shown everyone why he is called as the ‘GABBAR’, Scoring 338 runs at an average of 67.60 in the 5 games that he played which also helped him to win the golden bat award for the second consecutive time. With some outstanding performances in the CT 2013 & 2017 and WC 2015 he is being reckoned as the India’s go to man for the ICC events. Though there is a tough competition for his spot in Ajinkya Rahane and KL Rahul, Shikhar with his vast experience should be the man to open the innings for India.
3) VIRAT KOHLI(c)
In any format of the game the no.3 position in the batting order is the key for any team in deciding the outcome of the match. India has no problem in worrying about this slot as they are blessed with one of the modern era’s great in Virat. It will be a tough task for him to bat with freedom while leading the side, with the kind of passion and determination he plays the game of cricket, he should handle the pressure that is put on his shoulders. India’s progress will hugely rely on his batting and how he uses his bowlers in high pressure situations.
4) MANISH PANDEY
Getting injured after being selected into the squad for CT 2017, Manish would fancy his chances for the upcoming ICC event in place of Yuvraj Singh, who seemed to be quite slow in the field. Age also becoming a factor for the Mohali born all-rounder it would be difficult for him to make it into the team.
Only few people would have noticed, Manish Pandey during the U19 World Cup 2007 playing under the leadership of Virat Kohli has been a bench warmer for the most part of the tournament. But since then the batsman has shown his class and consistency in different tournaments that are being held in India, and of course he is the first Indian to score an IPL century. He delivered the goods at the highest level against Australia at Sydney in the bilateral series by scoring 104 off just 81 balls which helped India clinch on to a thriller. With the sheer talent and consistency he possesses with the bat, Manish Pandey should make it to the playing XI.
5) MS DHONI (wk)
Though there are lot of speculations around his batting performances in recent times, MS is the go to man in pressure situations. He also managed to score a quick fire 63 against Sri Lanka in the recently concluded CT 2017. He is the key to the side not only with his bat but also as a senior member to help Virat in difficult situations with his experience of lifting two world cups for his country. As of now he is fit and is hoping to play the WC, but in case if he decides to hang up his boots before the tournament, Dinesh Karthik would be an ideal replacement. So unless he surprises us before the tournament with his big career decision there is every chance in the world that he would feature in biggest tournament.
6) KEDAR JADHAV
The 32 year old Pune born made his ODI debut in 2014 against Sri Lanka, but it was in 2016-2017 (series against New Zealand and England) when he came into the lime light by picking up some crucial wickets with his part time round-arm off spin and his 120 (off just 76 balls) against England at Pune when he along with Virat helped India to win the series opener from a difficult situation. His ability to bat aggressively suits the number 6 position. Nevertheless he chips in with some crucial breakthroughs for his nation at very difficult situations and starting to be called as the golden arm. He seems to be poor in the field which needs to be improved and perform well in the upcoming series to confirm his berth in the side. Suresh Raina is also a main contender for this position.
7) HARDIK PANDYA
Number 7, which is the all-important all-rounder slot ,Pandya is the perfect fitting guy for this position with his power hitting skills with the bat and ability to bowl at a pace around 140kmph. Though he is not up to the mark with the bowl in his hand, many believe that he has the potential to bowl good line and length in the English conditions. And also there is no seaming all-rounder who could match his abilities in India. He is the obvious option for India if they would like to go with an extra seamer in him. If they would like to have an extra spinner then he could be warming the bench. In English conditions most probably he is the guy for this position.
8) Ravindra Jadeja
Coming into the side as a spinning all-rounder Jadeja slowly turned up as a specialist left arm spinner in recent times. By the virtue of some majestic bowling performance in tests during the grand home season of India, he made his name into the side rather as a bowler than an all-rounder. But he as the ability to provide some lusty blows towards the end of an innings with the bat .He still needs to improve in the limited versions of the game as he can be a little too expensive with the ball on his off days. He faces a tough challenge from his counterparts in the likes of AxarPatel.
9) Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Like the other Kumar (Praveen), Bhuvi comes from Uttar Pradesh. Making his ODI debut in 2012 against Pakistan at MA Chidambaram stadium in Chennai, he surprised everyone by bowling out Mohammad Hafeez of his very first delivery. In the early stages of his career the 27-year old was known to be a swing bowler with a pace around 120-125kmph, which made him difficult to survive on flat wickets. Being dropped from the team due to injuries and his inability to bowl at decent pace, the swing bowler from Meerut trained harder and harder and ultimately succeeded in putting on pace and started bowling consistently at a pace of 135-140kmph. The two time purple cap holder in IPL, got selected into the playing XI for the CT 2017 and came out as the best bowler for India with eight scalps to his name. His ability bowl with the new ball and in the death overs, makes him edge past his fellow fast bowlers.
10) MOHAMMAD SHAMI
Shami along with Bhuvi started his career in the ODI series against Pakistan (2012-2013). He further got into the test side and is well known for his disciplined bowling at a pace of 140-145kmph and ability to reverse with the old ball. Shami was the pick of the bowlers in the ICC World Cup 2015 held in Australia & New Zealand. He played with a sore knee in the tournament and by the virtue of which he was sidelined for almost two years. Coming back into the test side Shami proved to be the best pacer in the great home season for India. He was selected into the squad for CT 2017 but didn’t get a chance to play. Shami with his consistent and disciplined pace bowling should be able to find a place in this Indian side. Umesh not being consistent would be sitting out of the team but he is the main competitor for Shami’s position.
11) JASPRIT BUMRAH
Bumrah seemed to be an answer to India’s death bowling woes since when he made his IPL debut in 2013 for Mumbai Indians by showing ability to bowl deadly Yorkers with precision on a regular basis. In 2016-2017 series against Australia competed Australia he made his International Debut. Since then the right-arm fast bowler made his cemented his place in the side by performing well at a regular basis. But his tendency to bowl no-balls is an issue to be worried. Apart from that the unorthodox bowler from Gujarat is an X-factor for the Team India.
These are the India’s probable XI for the ICC World Cu