5 players who aren't regulars in the ODI team but can be part of India's World Cup plans
India won the ODI series against South Africa by a convincing margin of 5-1 and team India deserve all the applause that they have been receiving. However, there are still some areas which could be worked upon. India's weaknesses were overshadowed by the performances of Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli as well as the Indian bowling attack.
The two major problems that remain however, is the inability to find a permanent player at the number 4 position and the lack of a hard-hitting batsman who can finish matches for the team lower down the order. India has tried Shreyas Iyer, Ajinkya Rahane, Dinesh Karthik and Manish Pandey at the number 4 position, without much success in the recent past. Also, as MS Dhoni needs a little time to settle down before going for the big ones India needs a batsman who, along with Hardik Pandya, can accelerate the scoring rate at the end of the innings.
With just over 14 months remaining for next year's World Cup, the selectors will want to pick players who can fill in these gaps. We will look at players who aren't part of the one-day set-up as of now, but could be included in India's plans for the World Cup.
#5 Vijay Shankar
Vijay Shankar's career has been plagued with injuries. In 2015, Vijay was on the brink of being selected for the national side after stellar performances in the Ranji Trophy and the India A tours. However, he was injured and was therefore out from cricket for a long time. But Vijay did not get disheartened and ended up making a strong come back. He has been extremely consistent in the domestic circuit and has been a regular in the India A team too.
Vijay has improved his game in the shorter formats, which has resulted in an increase in his strike-rate in the recent past. He can be an ideal number 4 for team India as he can accumulate runs in the middle overs and go for the big ones in the latter half of the innings. Apart from this, Vijay is more than a useful seam bowler as well. Keeping in mind the fact that the World Cup will be played in England, Vijay can be groomed as a fast-bowling all-rounder and can also become a good backup for Hardik Pandya.