Number 4 Spot In Focus As Selectors Meet To Decide Team India World Cup Squad

Written by N Krishnamurthy

The India squad for World Cup 2019 will be announced at a press conference in Mumbai on Monday. This will follow a meeting between the five-man national selection committee led by MSK Prasad, India captain Virat Kohli and chief coach Ravi Shastri at the BCCI Cricket Centre in Mumbai. According to reports, India will stick to the ODI squad they have fielded over the recent few months.

The big question mark is over the No.4 spot in the batting order. Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli pick themselves for the top three spots. KL Rahul is likely to be included as the back-up opener.

Ambati Rayudu, who has been India’s No.4 since last year’s Asia Cup, had an indifferent Australia series and has not set the IPL on fire either. Rayudu’s highest score in the Australia series was 18. Even against New Zealand in January, he only managed one 50+ score.

Rayudu’s form has opened the door for many more names to be up for discussion. Ajinkya Rahane, who has been out of the ODI squad since last year, Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik and Vijay Shankar are likely to be the main contenders to replace Rayudu.

There is also a question mark over who the selectors will pick as the reserve wicketkeeper, who can also be called upon to play at No.6 after MS Dhoni. Rishabh Pant’s match-winning mettle, combined with his recent form – in the IPL and in the Australia series – will make it very hard to ignore him. Dinesh Karthik, who has also been part of the ODI squad over the last year, is the other contender.


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N Krishnamurthy