ICC World Cup 2019: Ravi Shastri Wanted 16-Man Squad for ODI Showpiece
India’s head coach Ravi Shastri wanted to have a 16-man squad for the upcoming ICC World Cup 2019. In fact, the Indian head coach had also appealed to the International Cricket Council, who refused the request. Shastri who has done a fine job for India National Cricket Team believes 16-man squad would have made more sense.
However, the governing body didn’t believe on the same line. Meanwhile, the Board of Control for Cricket in India had announced the 15-man squad on 15th April. One of the biggest bombshells from the national selectors in the World Cup squad was that there was no Ambati Rayudu and Rishabh Pant, who both had made a case for themselves.
Shastri wanted one more player in the squad.
“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’ website in Dubai.
“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,” he added.
In fact, there was no doubt that Ambati Rayudu was the most deserving player in the World Cup squad. However, he was unfortunate to miss out in the squad. Meanwhile, Ambati Rayudu, Rishabh Pant and Navdeep Saini have been named as standbys for the quadrennial tourney. Shastri believes those who have missed out should not lose their heart.
“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, Shastri believes Virat Kohli’s Men have come up with collective performances in the last three to four years. Shastri said that the team hasn’t depended on just one or two players to deliver the goods.
Indian team is in good form.
“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,” he asserted.
“You have that kind of consistent record, you need a bunch of players performing all the time. Due credit to the team,” he said.
On the other hand, the Indian head coach feels England would start the tournament as favourites. England has been relentless in the last four years and they have the players to go all the way in the mega event. Furthermore, England will have the home advantage.
“England have been the most consistent team over the last two years. They have multi-dimensional players. They have depth in bowling and batting. And they are playing at home. So they would start as favourites,” Shastri said.
“But there are so many teams that can beat any team on a given day. In a tournament like the World Cup, you have got to be on top of your game every game,” he added.
Meanwhile, there is no doubt that England and India are going to be the red favourites for the World Cup. England is the number one ODI side whereas India is the number two side. Both of them would be the sides to watch out for.
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