Even though a cat and mouse game is being played between the BCCI and ICC over the newly proposed revenue model which has cast doubts over India’s participation in the upcoming Champions Trophy to be played in England next month, veteran batsman Virendra Sehwag has picked a 15-man squad for India that he thinks is the best one at the moment, according to reports in Dainik Bhaskar. Some of his picks were as bold as the shots he played in his heyday.

Sehwag is currently serving KXIP as the Director of Cricket Operations

He chose to drop Shikhar Dhawan opting for Ajinkya Rahane as the opener alongside Rohit Sharma. Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, and MS Dhoni combine to form the middle order with Virat leading the team. Rishabh Pant made his way into Sehwag’s squad as a back-up wicketkeeper on the back of a highly successful Ranji Trophy season in which he scored 972 runs at an average of 81. Kedar Jadhav dons the role of the finisher in the side owing to his recent heroics in the limited overs series against England. Hardik Pandya was the only seam-bowling all-rounder in the list and given the conditions in England, he may have to play a vital role to bring balance to the team. Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin were the obvious choices for frontline spinners with Yuzvendra Chahal being backed as the reserve spinner. Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, and Mohammed Shami made up for the pace bowling department as they are clearly the best crop of fast bowlers the country has to offer, going by their performances over the last year or so.

A shot that Rishabh Pant played in his innings of 308 runs in the Ranji Trophy 2017/17 season.
Express photo by Kevin Dsouza, Mumbai 15-10-2016.

Here is the full list of the squad that Sehwag picked:

Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli (C), Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni (wicketkeeper), Rishabh Pant, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami.

Although most of the squad walk into the side as obvious choices, a few brave selections like young Chahal and Pant might not be a part of the team management’s plans as sending inexperienced players to a global ICC event might not prove to be as fruitful as backing tried and tested players like Dhawan and Raina in English conditions. Dhawan, in particular, had a wonderful run in Champions Trophy 2013 scoring consistently at the top of the order. With conditions in England not assisting spin bowling too much, another all-rounder would be a better option instead of the full-time spinner Chahal. Axar Patel and Krunal Pandya are making good cases for themselves in the ongoing season of IPL.

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