ICC World Cup 2019: 4 extra pacers to accompany India's squad
What's the story?
The Indian selection committee headed by MSK Prasad on Monday announced a 15-member Indian squad for the upcoming World Cup 2019. The panel has now further added that four seamers - Navdeep Saina, Deepak Chahar, Avesh Khan and Khaleel Ahmed - will accompany the squad as net bowlers.
In the core team, India have included only three mainstream fast-bowlers - Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The likes of Saini and Khaleel won't be available for selection, but will be extremely valuable during practice sessions.
In case you didn't know...
The World Cup is the top priority for each cricket playing nation, with all of them looking to put together the best possible squad for the mega event. India had been searching for their best 15-man squad for a long time, and today finally they made the announcement, ending months of speculation.
The number 4 spot was the most hotly discussed position in the lead-up to the selection, for which several players had been tried out. The selection committee ultimately decided to go with Vijay Shankar and Kl Rahul as the answers to the No. 4 conundrum, surprising many by excluding Ambati Rayudu.
Meanwhile, the experienced Dinesh Karthik was preferred over the youngster Rishabh Pant as the back-up wicket-keeper.
The heart of the matter
In another surprising move, only three regular fast bowlers were picked in the squad, raising a few eyebrows about their ability to last through the elongated schedule of the tournament.
In order to manage the workload of the pacers, the selection committee has decided to attach a four-member seam-bowling bunch who will assist the team in the World Cup preparations in England.
These bowlers include Khaleel Ahmed, Avesh Khan, Deepak Chahar and Navdeep Saina, who have all been doing well at the domestic and IPL level.
As the World Cup is a long tournament, it will be quite challenging for the Men in Blue to keep themselves fighting fit throughout. A lot of the players are currently taking part in the Indian Premier League, which would also drain them of energy.
In that context, the role of this quartet of players could be very important in ensuring that the fast bowling attack remains fresh.