Indian squad to be announced today

Indian squad to be announced today

While public opinion was firmly behind Rishabh Pant, one of the most exciting young cricketers doing the rounds, and also the current first-choice Test wicketkeeper, the selectors plumped for Dinesh Karthik.

All-rounder Vijay Shankar has got a nod in the Indian squad ahead of Ambati Rayudu for the much-debated No. 4 position.

"On dropping Rishabh Pant, chief selectors MSK Prasad said:" Definitely a case where we debated (at) length. And if we were to go further back to 2007, only Dhoni and Dinesh Karthik remain from the fateful campaign that met a shock end in the preliminary group stage.

"Pant is full of talent".

For the past few months, both Kohli and Prasad had stressed that the World Cup squad was virtually "sorted" barring one spot: The No. 4 spot in the batting order. We all were in unison that either pant or DK will come in only when Mahi [Mahendra Singh Dhoni] is injured. "So that at juncture if it is a crucial match, a quarterfinal or a semifinal, keeping also matters", Prasad's statement was indicative of what five wise men think about his glovework. Gavaskar said the move is surprising but backed Karthik as the better wicketkeeper.

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In last three ODI series, he averages 38, 37 and 48.66 against New Zealand, Australia and in Asia Cup, respectively.

Rayudu remained the choice for No 4 for long but his recent lack of form could rule him out. Not once has he batted at number four for the team.

Ravindra Jadeja's all-round skills and his ability to be restrictive on dry wickets came into consideration during his selection in the 15. Apart from his batting, he can bowl; if the conditions are suitable, overcast, which we might encounter in England, he might bowl a bit and he's a fantastic fielder.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar will be the back-up pacer and Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami are expected to start in all the big games, fitness permitting. Predictably, no surprise change was announced on Monday as India will go into the World Cup with arguably the best bowling attack in the tournament.

Squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), KL Rahul, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Vijay Shankar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Dinesh Karthik, Ravindra Jadeja.

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