ICC World Cup 2019: Ravi Shastri Gives His Opinion on the Selection of Vijay Shankar
Team India head coach Ravi Shastri revealed that he would have preferred a 16 member squad for the 2019 World Cup instead of 15. However, as per ICC guidelines, all the teams can only pick 15 members in the original squad. Ravi Shastri urged the players who narrowly missed on a berth to not lose hope because in sport injury is a huge issue and that might well bring them back into contention. Hence he asked them to not lose all the hope.
The MSK Prasad led selection committee announced the 15 member World Cup-bound squad yesterday and the omissions of veteran batsman Amabti Rayudu and youngster Rishabh Pant. Several critics have questioned the selection. However, both Rayudu and Pant has been named as the standby’s for the tournament alongside Navdeep Saini. Hence they can fly to England anytime if there is an injury ahead of the tournament or midway through the event.
“I don’t get involved in selection. If we have any opinion, we let the captain known,” Shastri was quoted as saying by the ‘Sport360’. When you only have 15 to pick, there is bound to be someone or the other who misses out, which is very unfortunate.
“I would have preferred 16 players. We had mentioned to the ICC that in a tournament that long, 16 players makes sense. But the diktat was 15. They (who missed out) shouldn’t lose heart. It’s a funny game. There could be injuries. So you never know when you could be called up,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ravi Shastri also reflected on the selection of Vijay Shankar in the squad. MSK Prasad revealed that he will be looked upon as the first choice No 4 for the quadrennial event. However, Ravi Shastri stated that the No 4 position is a flexible option and only the top 3 positions in the batting order are already decided.
“Total flexibility (on No4 position) depending on conditions, opposition. I would say the top three but after that, you can be very flexible,” he said.
He also didn’t agree with the fact that India has been too reliant on Virat Kohli in the recent past. He said that the performance of the Indian team in the last 5 years across formats goes onto prove that they haven’t been dependant on a single player.
“If you look at the last five years, the way the Indian team has performed, they have always been in the top two or three.
“To be in top two or three for five years in a row, No1 in Tests, again top three in T20 cricket, you can’t depend on one player. You have that kind of consistent record, you need a bunch of players performing all the time. Due credit to the team,” he said.
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