Ravi Shastri Concerned With IPL Ahead Of World Cup 2019
The upcoming Indian Premier League just before the all-important World Cup has been a matter of concern for the Indian team because of the players’ workload. While players of other countries have confirmed they will leave the tournament early to prepare for the World Cup, the Indian players do not enjoy the same luxury due to obvious reasons. And now head coach Ravi Shastri has expressed his concerns too.’
The former India allrounder said he would watch every match closely while admitting that he is very concerned with the possibility of players’ picking up injury. During last year’s IPL, India skipper Virat Kohli had to pull out off his stint with county outfit Surrey after he sustained the injury while playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore. But fortunately, he recovered in time to play during the England tour.
“That will always be a concern because the last thing you want is injury. The World Cup is immediately after the IPL and if someone gets injured, it will be a concern. I will be lying if I say I am not on the edge of my seat. I will be watching every game closely,” Ravi Shastri told The Times of India.
He further said that there is still room for changes in the team for the World Cup.
“More or less. The nucleus of the team is there. But you can never discount injuries at the last minute. You have only 15 allowed for the World Cup but you’ve got to have about 18-20 in the mix,” said Shastri.
India recently tried out the likes of KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant and other fringe players during the Australia series but without much success. Moreover, Ambati Rayudu’s poor form with the bat has once again opened up the race for the number four spot. With no more assignments before the World Cup, India will have to take a big gamble.
Shastri also predicted about how far India will go in the World Cup. When asked to pick a number between 1 to 10 to determine India’s chances in the tournament, Shastri said:
“Well, I will be lying if we don’t think we can go the distance.”
On chances of India boycotting Pakistan in the World Cup in the wake of the Pulwama attack, Shastri said:
“I will leave it entirely to the BCCI and the government, because they know what’s happening. They will take a call and you will go with whatever the government says.”
He also said that he would back the government’s decision if they decide to boycott Pakistan in the mega-event.
“If the government says it’s that sensitive, you don’t need to play the World Cup, I will go with my government,” said Ravi Shastri.
Meanwhile, England will take on South Africa in the World Cup-opener on May 30, 2019, at The Oval in London. The tournament will last for 45 days with 48 matches to be played. India will start their campaign against the Proteas on June 5. The format for the 2019 edition will see 10 best teams in the world going head-to-head in a round-robin format. The tournament will culminate with the final at the iconic Lord’s Cricket Ground on July 14.
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