In most of the cricket-crazy countries, a captain’s success is judged by his ability to lead his team to victory in big tourneys especially the world cup and the Indian Skipper Virat Kohli seems to be well aware of this fact, as he is already trying out various permutations and combinations with an aim of selecting an ideal line up that will fly down to England for the 2019 World cup.
Since the trumpet as already been blown and the world cup debate has already started gaining roots, with the selectors, captain and the coach maintaining an eagle eye on player performances, we’ve come up with a list of young guns whom the selectors should include in their scheme of things, to carve out a formidable Indian team for big league.
Though a major chunk of the Indian team looks settled and seems probable for a berth on the flight to England, some positions still remain under scrutiny, and that’s exactly where India will need a back up option or a new face.
India’s opening looks pretty much settled, as the regular openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma, continue to enjoy a good form and an injury free phase. And If the need be the team think tank already have the names of Ajinkya Rahane and Lokesh Rahul doing the rounds to make up for the void.
However as Ajinkya Rahane continues to blow hot and cold at number four in ODIs and Rahul’s recent failure to capitalise his position at number 4 In the 3 ODIs against Sri Lanka, leave a major concern about the number 4 spot. To solve this paradox the Selectors need to invest in Manish Pandey as the Karnataka batsman has proved his mettle with a gritty knock against the Aussies and has also been a consistent contributor in the India-A side.
Kedar Jadhav seems to be a perfect fit in the puzzle as India eye the 2019 title. However what needs to be kept in mind is that in the next two years Jadhav will be entering the wrong side of 30s. While his batting talent and the ability to bowl as a part timer are unquestionable, should the selectors think of probable injury or form slump Krunal Pandya seems to be the perfect fit in Jadhav’s role. Pandya senior can be more than a handy bowler and has also starred in innings of varying genre. As we have witnessed Pandya Play with composure in innings where his team needed someone to stabilize the sinking ship, and extremely antagonist to that was him going berserk all round the park to push his team towards an unmatchable total.
Coming to the position of the wicketkeeper batsmen which is undoubtedly one of the most debated spot in the line up. While Dhoni’s reflexes and keeping skills seem to be at their zenith and if his current knocks are anything to go by he should retain his position behind the stumps for the 2019 world cup, but India surely would like to go in with a backup wicket keeper. The strongest candidates in contention seem to be the two top notch young guns from the Delhi Daredevils; Sanju Samson and Risabh Pant. While Pant did bag two T20s, for him they were more a battle of nerves than between his bat and the ball and if Pant is being viewed as the future Keeper-batsmen he needs to be given enough chances in ODIs as well as T20s.And if the plan is to give young Pant a chance to grow and to look beyond him for now, then Samson is your go to man for the coveted spot.
And finally moving to the bowling line up though it seems that the pace quartet of Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar along with the spin duo of Ashwin and Jadeja have elected themselves by default, the English overcast conditions will sometimes need India to trade off one of the spinner for the wrist spinning option of Kuldeep Yadav, while Kuldeep has showcased fine performances in test he needs to be given more of limited overs exposure. And well trying out Basil Thampi or Shardul Thakur for a reserved pacers spot will only take India’s newfound strength to greater heights.