India’s 15-man squad for ICC World Cup 2015 is set to be announced today. Except for one or two places, it’s likely to be an easy ride for the selectors when they meet in Mumbai to finalize the squad.
The players who select themselves in this squad are Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Ambati Rayudu, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav and Mohammad Shami. Ravindra Jadeja, who is currently recovering from a shoulder injury, is expected to be named in the squad. Jadeja’s rehabilitation process will keep out of action till the end of this month, which even rules him out of the Carlton-Mid ODI Tri-Series featuring hosts Australia and England. With not much match practice under his belt, Dhoni would still bank on Jadeja to replicate his form he has showed in the past three years.
Axar Patel, who was called into the Test squad in place of the injured Jadeja, is almost a certainty in the squad. Axar has done extremely well in the limited chances he has got in the ODIs and I get a feeling he can be a surprise package for India in the World Cup.
Now for the 15th member, Test opener Murali Vijay’s name has come out of nowhere in contention. Seeing the form he has shown in the Tests against Australia, he is likely to get the nod ahead of the swashbuckling opener Robin Uthappa. It’s true that Uthappa has done more than enough for a World Cup spot, but going by the poor form that our ODI openers Dhawan and Rohit have shown in Tests, selectors might opt for Vijay as the reserve opener. Vijay has been in great form in Australia and has scored three fifties and a hundred in the ongoing Test series.
It’s right in saying that Vijay is a dark horse in the race for the World Cup spot even if his ODI records don’t say the same. Around 2 pm, the mystery surrounding these one or two places will get solved but whether the selectors opt for Vijay or Uthappa or a fifth genuine fast-bowler (Aaron or Dhawal) might well decide India’s fate in the World Cup.
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