India, April 15: The board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Monday announced the 15-member national squad that will play in the ICC World Cup to be held from May 30 in England and Wales. India will play their opening game of the tournament against South Africa on June 5.
India’s squad: Virat Kohli (Capt), Rohit Sharma (vc), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Vijay Shankar, MSD (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohd Shami
Although the deadline set by the ICC to announce squads for the World Cup is April 23, it is understood that the India selectors wanted the players to have extra time to prepare themselves for the tournament that India last won in 2011 at home.
MSK Prasad, the chairman of India’s selection committee, had pointed out as early as in February that his panel had shortlisted a pool of 20-odd players from which the final 15 would be picked. “Maybe one spot might go at the last minute, otherwise we are very clear about the rest,” Prasad had told ESPNcricinfo in an interview.
Prasad had also pointed out that the selection panel would not look at IPL form to firm up the vacant spots, “only because we have already made up our minds”. “We will only be observing the performances of the players we think should be in the squad and the list of stand-byes. We have rounded up on 20 players. We will follow the form of these players,” he had elaborated.
Kohli, too, reiterated the point before the home ODI series against Australia last month, saying the team management and the selectors needed to be “absolutely clear” about the team they wanted for the World Cup. “I don’t see anything changing despite how the IPL goes for any of the players. If one or two players don’t have a good IPL season, it doesn’t mean that they are out of the picture for the World Cup. Those things are not going to matter.”
The Australia series was India’s last ODI tournament before the World Cup, and they lost 3-2 despite wins in the first two matches. After the result, Kohli had insisted the Indian team was not “panicking”. (Agencies)