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22-24 players identified as potential for 2019 World Cup, says MSK Prasad

India have the best bench strength in world cricket.


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Yuvraj Singh has been left out of the ODI squad for Sri Lanka

What's the story?

The ODI squad for the upcoming five ODIs between India and Sri Lanka was announced on Sunday evening. Some of the regular players of the team were rested, while the relatively inexperienced ones were called to the squad.

Addressing the media at a press conference, BCCI’s chief selector MSK Prasad explained the reason behind resting the players, saying that trying the younger ones will help them form the core group for the 2019 World Cup.

“Senior players will be rested to give youngsters a chance. (This) will give us a group for 2019 WC. Ashwin playing county cricket is a blessing in disguise. He was rested first but we didn't know they were contacted for county. They were rested but they informed BCCI of intention to play county. So rest becomes player rotation.”

He further revealed that they intend to give 22-24 young players a chance to prove their mettle, for the team to filter out the best for England 2019.

“22-24 players identified as pool for 2019 WC. Will all be given a go in short term. List to be pruned from time to time.”

In case you didn’t know

Last week, news had it that Ravi Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja will be playing in the remainder of the County Championship in England for Worcestershire.

The heart of the matter

India have a very good bench strength, in both the bowling and batting department. In a country which was criticised for not producing enough pacers, they have a surplus of the same today. From Mohammad Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar to Shardul Thakur and Basil Thampi, there is no dearth of quicks.

Similarly, India have additional pace options in players like Kuldeep Yadav and Axar Patel. As for the batsmen, the waitlist on the fringes is pretty long.


Squad for the ODIS

Virat Kohli (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma (vice captain), KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Ajinkya Rahane, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shardul Thakur.

What’s next?

India are currently playing the dead rubber at Pallekele, which will be followed by five ODIs beginning on August 20 at Dambulla. The only T20I will be played on September 6.

Author’s Take

The Sri Lanka ODI series is an ideal platform to test India’s bench strength, given that the opposition are a depleted side. India have quite a few full-fledged series coming up, both at home and away, which will help filter out the players who can be in the World Cup 2019 squad. 

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