We’re a week away to witness the curtain-raiser of the twelfth edition of the ICC World Cup 2019. In the tournament opener, hosts England will wrestle with South Africa in London. Both teams will be battling it out for set their eyes on the maiden World Cup title triumph.
On the other hand, two-time champions India will be raring to go under aggressive skipper Virat Kohli. The batting star is keen to show the intent when they will play their World Cup opener on June 5 against the Proteas in Southampton.
Overall, the second-ranked ODI team has stability in their 15-man squad
Let’s have a look at India’s predicted playing XI for the ICC World Cup 2019:
Top Order: Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma Virat Kohli
The trio has a wealth of experience on their back.
In the 2015 World Cup, Rohit Sharma has shown promise. Having the liking for the white-ball cricket, the right-handed batsman Rohit is known for playing an aggressive brand of cricket.
The prominent batsman Rohit has featured in eight World Cup innings to amass 330 runs at an average of 47.17. He has slammed a solitary hundred and two fifties under his belt.
Despite a duck to his name, Rohit is known for playing longer innings.
Coming to Shikhar Dhawan, he becomes a different player altogether when he features in England. Mainly, in the ICC events, Dhawan has delivered tremendously well.
In the previous World Cup, Dhawan has amassed 412 runs at an average of 51.50. He went on to score two tons apart from a solitary fifty. And in England, Dhawan has already proven his credentials.
Meanwhile, skipper Kohli would be keen to give his best while donning the captain’s hat. In 17 outings, Kohli has garnered 587 runs at an average of 41.93.
The prolific run-getter has slammed two hundreds and a fifty during the World Cup matches so far.
Middle-Order Line-up: Vijay Shankar, MS Dhoni, and Kedar Jadhav
With No.4 a major headache for Team India, Vijay Shankar is a preferred choice. However, the circumstances during the tourney will further decide the player for the particular spot.
Shankar, who will be playing his first World Cup, has done exceedingly well for the state-side Tamil Nadu. Somewhat his consistency has further earned him a spot in Team India.
In a limited number of opportunities, Shankar had played decently. He has accumulated 165 runs in five innings at an average of 33. In between, he has two scalps to his name.
Besides, MS Dhoni’s experience of playing three World Cup will be a massive boost for India. Known for anchoring the innings, Dhoni has punctured the good bowling attack on his day.
Dhoni has featured in 17 World Cup innings to gather 507 runs at an average of 42.25 with the best of unbeaten 91 which came against Sri Lanka in the finale of the 2011 World Cup. He further struck three half-centuries during the World Cup outings.
Kedar Jadhav’s role would be crucial in the lower middle-order. Averaging 43.48 in 40 innings, Jadhav has scored 1174 runs. He has two hundreds and five half-centuries under his belt which saw his strike rate of 102.53.
And remember, he’s the partnership breaker. So far, he has eked out 27 wickets with his usual and then unusual bowling action.
All-Rounder: Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya’s role with the medium pace bowling will become more important given to the surfaces true for batting in England.
Known for playing whirlwind knocks, Pandya could spoil the party of spin bowlers.
The Baroda-based cricketer is ready for the maiden World Cup challenge as his recent Indian Premier League (IPL) form keeps the exciting prospect in good stead.
Having some experience on his back, Pandya highest score of 83 came against Pakistan during the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy in England. In 29 ODI innings, Pandya has amassed 731 runs which include four fifties.
He has 44 wickets to his name.
Spinner: Kuldeep Yadav
It was an easy option to drop out exceptional Yuzvendra Chahal. The left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav has shown intent while bowling in tandem with Chahal over the years.
However, his recent form in the IPL has been a major concern for India. But given to his variations, Kuldeep, who has the knack of picking wickets could emerge as a difference against the oppositions.
In 44 ODIs, Kuldeep has scalped 87 wickets at an incredible average of 21.75. He has bagged four four-wicket hauls apart from a solitary five-wicket haul.
Look out for him deceiving top-notch batters during the tournament.
Fast Bowlers: Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and, Bhuvneshwar Kumar
If we described India’s fast bowling attack as one of the best in the tournament, it would not be a wrong case in any way.
From Jasprit Bumrah to Bhuvneshwar Kumar, the duo has played a quintessential role in stemming the run-flow. They’ve been outstanding, to say the least during the death overs.
The hint of swing means Bhuvneshwar would be a threat for the opponents. However, Bumrah could bowl anywhere. He is known for responding well, even facing the demanding situations of the game.
Also, Mohammed Shami has shown improvement with the white-ball. The right-arm paceman has been brilliant with the ball, of late. Taking wickets at regular intervals, Shami has further tied up the batsman with his line and length.
In 49 matches, Bumrah has bagged 85 wickets at an average of 22.15. Well, Bhuvneshwar has managed to play a solitary World Cup against the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
He has bagged a wicket while conceding 19 runs in five overs.
Shami has featured in seven World Cup matches in which he has bowled remarkably well. He bagged 17 wickets which includes a four wicket-haul while conceding runs at an average of 17.29.