Team India’s squad for the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 was announced on Monday. The selectors picked 7 players who featured in 2015 World Cup while seven of them will be playing in their maiden World Cup.
The squad will be led by Virat Kohli, with Rohit Sharma being his deputy. On paper, India has a good line-up and it goes into the world cup as one of the favourites, but it is unlikely to be a cakewalk for the boys in blue.
The top order is seen as India’s biggest strength. In Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli – Team India have one of the strongest batting order. But except Kohli – Rohit and Dhawan are pretty inconsistent. Although Dhawan has found the momentum in the ongoing IPL 2019, WC and English conditions will be a different game altogether. Rohit, on the other hand, is known for big innings but off late he has been struggling for form and India’s chances of going all the way and lifting the title will be hugely dependent on the start he gives to the team. Openers’ consistency will be very important in the tournament.
Another big cause of concern for Team India is the middle order. Since a couple of years now – there have been lots of chops and shuffles in the middle order batting line-up. Indian management has tried at least 8-10 players at No.4 slot over a couple of years and because of that No.4, 5 and the 6th slot has not been permanent for any player. If chief Indian selector MSK Prasad is to be believed – Vijay Shanker will be India’s No.4 batsman in the World Cup. But it won’t be easy as his international experience is not that much and English conditions can be a bit too much for him.
The no.5 slot is fixed for MS Dhoni and if we go by numbers – Dhoni tend to play too many dots at the start of his innings and that will surely build pressure on the team while chasing or even while batting first. In the last ten overs – India will have to be dependent on Hardik Pandya, who has been exceptional of late. He has one of the best strike rates in the ongoing Indian Premier League and Kohli will be dependent on him for power hitting but once again – the question mark will arise – can he be consistent? IPL and World Cup are different ball game without a shadow of a doubt.
India’s success off late in international cricket has been heavily dependent on bowlers. Likes of Kuldeep Yadav & Yuzvendra Chahal have picked up wickets for fun. On the other hand, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami have also been terrific. But once again the fifth bowler could be a cause of concern. Going by the look of things Pandya will be the one who will be doing the plenty of bowling as well, and despite being a wicket-taking bowler – he tends to get bit excited and can leak runs in the death or the middle overs.
These are the few factors which can cost India big time in the upcoming World Cup.