Concerns for the Indian team to address ahead of 2019 World Cup
ICC World Cup, the 50-over mega event which happens once every four years is set to commence next year in England. This edition will see 10 teams fight for the elusive trophy.
India look firm favourites to lift the trophy next year. However, they still have a few concerns in the team which they need to address before the World Cup.
#1 Middle-order to be strengthened
It is a surprise that competition still exists for the middle-order in the Indian team with only a few months left for the World Cup. On analysing the reason for this, both Ajinkya Rahane and Suresh Raina, who were set to occupy the middle-order a few years ago have lost their form in the 50-over format now. Hence, India has found it difficult to find a suitable replacement for them.
However, based on the squad selection to the Windies series, Ambati Rayudu and Manish Pandey have gone ahead of the others to play in the middle-order. With both of them being inconsistent in the past, the Indian team needs to devise a strategy to strengthen the middle-order before the World Cup. Failing to do so will put India's chances in the World Cup at a risk.
#2 Third pacer to be decided
India might go into the World Cup with the best fast bowling duo in Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar. Both of them have complemented each other during the start of the innings and also at the death. With the pitches in England supporting pacers, India might have to play an extra pacer in a few matches. It should be noted that the Indian team has failed to finalize on the third pacer as yet.
They have used Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Siddarth Kaul and Khaleel Ahmed till now with neither of them cementing a spot in the squad. In the upcoming Windies series, the team has also brought in Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami back into the setup. India needs to prioritise this issue and needs to address as soon as possible.
#3 MS Dhoni needs to get back to form
MS Dhoni is one player who is very vital to India's performance in the World Cup. His wicketkeeping abilities along with his experience will be an asset to the Indian team. However, his form with the bat has dwindled and it has affected the team in the recent matches. Since MS Dhoni will be the most experienced batsman in the middle-order, his form is of utmost importance to the team.
The team management has to sit down with the ex-skipper and help him get back to his best. With Rishabh Pant starting to get noticed, all the Indian fans will be hoping that the Jharkhand player will be back to form for the World Cup and sign off on a high.