Anil Kumble picks his Indian squad for 2019 World Cup
Legendary leg-spinner and former head coach Anil Kumble has revealed his Indian squad for the 2019 edition of the World Cup. Aside from the expected names, the 48-year-old's contingent has a couple of surprise picks in young turks Rishabh Pant and Khaleel Ahmed.
Led by star batsman Virat Kohli, Kumble's Indian squad for the tournament in England & Wales sees the inclusion of two seam all-rounders in Hardik Pandya and Vijay Shankar. Interestingly, flamboyant stroke-maker KL Rahul misses the cut even as the erstwhile captain has gone in with Ambati Rayudu for the middle-order slot.
In a video segment for CricketNext, Kumble reckoned, "I believe that it'll either be Vijay Shankar or Jadeja, one of them & from what you've seen of Vijay Shankar as a batsman. I think he gets the nod. From a bowling perspective he still doesn't have the opportunity or I don't think you can trust him to bowl your 10 overs. So that's a bit of a challenge so I would go with Vijay Shankar."
The venerated cricketer added, "I would go with a Khaleel because he brings in the left-arm seam option. Then you have the opener, do you need an opener? I won't pick KL Rahul as an opener I would rather go with a middle order bat. I would back a Rishabh Pant because he is young, he is talented, he can change the game on his day, so you would want an X factor and he can also give you a backup keeping option."
The pace department comprises the proven troika of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami. The position of fourth pacer, which is up for grabs, is filled by the promising Khaleel Ahmed in Kumble's World Cup squad.
There is no place for left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja as the iconic leg-spinner's contingent contains only two specialist spin options. Wrist-spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal form the slow bowling department. The presence of Kedar Jadhav also allows a few more overs of tidy off-spin.
Despite losing the recently completed ODI series to the visiting Australian team, most of the spots are filled in India's prospective squad for the 2019 World Cup. The deadline for all teams to announce their respective 15-member squads is April 23. The tournament proper is set to begin on May 30 at the Oval.
Anil Kumble's Indian World Cup squad: Virat Kohli (captain), MS Dhoni (wicket-keeper), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Khaleel Ahmed, Ambati Rayudu, Rishabh Pant and Vijay Shankar