5 issues which need to be addressed by the Indian ODI team before the 2019 World Cup
The number one ranked ODI team India have been on a roll in the 50-over format of the game. The Men in Blue have proved to be a difficult opponent for all the cricketing nations with the likes Australia, New Zealand, England, West Indies and Sri Lanka tasting defeat in their last bilateral ODI series against India. The Indian ODI outfit is on the verge of creating history by becoming the first Indian team to beat South Africa in South Africa by taking a 3-1 lead in the 6 match ODI series.
The team looks more or less settled and the team management has identified the players who would form the core of the 2019 World Cup squad. However a few issues need to be addressed by the team management before the 2019 World Cup which is only 15 months away. Here is a detailed analysis of the said issues:
#5. The third and the fourth pace option:
While Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar are wreaking havoc for their opponents, the team management will have to identify their third and the fourth pacers who would be a part of the 2019 World Cup squad.
In the ongoing ODI series, Mohammad Shami and Shardul Thakur are the two pacers who are a part of the squad but are yet to feature in the series.
Shami, who was India's lead pacer in the 2015 World Cup, has battled multiple injuries thereafter and has played just 3 ODIs in the last 2 years. While Shami did not play a single ODI in 2016, he was a part of 3 ODIs in 2017 in which he picked up 4 wickets at an average of 35. 75. This is clear evidence that Shami is lacking match practice in ODI cricket and will have to prove his match fitness by playing more ODI cricket before the 2019 World Cup.
Shardul Thakur is relatively inexperienced in international cricket and has played just 2 ODIs till date. The team management will be taking a big risk by including Thakur in the ODI squad without giving him an opportunity to be a part of the playing 11. Thakur has been exceptional in domestic cricket and would look to impress the selectors as and when he gets a chance to play for India.
Umesh Yadav is another name, who might be considered for the 2019 World Cup considering his experience of playing in England and being in the international circuit for around 7 years. For that to happen, the team management should look to get him back in the ODI squad to give him actual match practice before the 2019 World Cup.