3 challenges for Team India ahead of World Cup 2019
Team India have been on a roll of late, and have annihilated almost every opposition that has come their way. Within a span of one year, India have recorded series victories in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, along with defending the Asia Cup. The team comprises of the world's best batsmen in Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, the best bowlers in Jasprit Bumrah and Kuldeep Yadav, with the experience of MS Dhoni being an added incentive for the side. Thus, India promises to be a strong contender for the ICC World Cup scheduled in England in the next 4 months.
Though the team has managed to tick most of the boxes, certain areas of concerns continue to prevail. These areas have pinched in the one-off loses for the team of late, and might serve as a threat in the showdown in England. Let us have a look at three challenges ahead of Team India in the World Cup:
#1 Middle-order packed with wicketkeepers
There was a time when India would pick only one keeper in the playing XI, regardless of the technical supremacy of other glovesmen with the willow. However, in the recent times, the middle order has been brimmed with wicketkeepers, all of whom save MS Dhoni have been largely inexperienced to anchor the innings after a top order collapse. Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, Rishabh Pant, KL Rahul and Kedar Jadhav, the men around whom the middle order has revolved of late, have all donned gloves at a point in their careers.
While Karthik and Jadhav can play handy cameos towards the end, Rayudu, who was entrusted with the No.4 spot, has not looked in good touch in crunch situations. Same is the case with Rishabh Pant, who is technically a lower middle order batsman, while KL Rahul is having a dismal run of form. As a result, the middle order has been exposed twice in the previous two series. While a fighting century and a half-century from Rohit Sharma and MSD helped salvage pride against Australia, the team was forced to eat humble pie against the Kiwis.
In such a case, the team management might be lured to explore the prospects of including a technically sound player, such as Shubhman Gill and Shreyas Iyer, in the middle order before the commencement of the World Cup.