India qualified for the semifinals of the World Cup with a game to spare and were arguably the best team of the round-robin stage. Their position on the points table was a testament to this fact, although they reached there with a little help from the already down South Africa.
India has a habit of making a few changes to their XI depending on various factors like to opposition, ground and weather condition, etc. Kuldeep Yadav was dropped in the match against Bangladesh for Bhuvneshwar Kumar as the pitch did not support spin bowling. Dinesh Karthik was given a nod ahead of Kedar Jadhav as the latter was not performing up to the mark.
However, something that has been a point of contention for the last two matches, is the absence of a sixth bowling option. Although five bowlers have been able to do a good enough job in the two matches, the balance of a side is complete only when the captain can rely upon a bowler to cover up for an underperforming front line bowler. For instance, in the match against Sri Lanka, Bhuvneshwar Kumar was taken for runs. Thus Kolhi was forced to bowl Pandya in the latter overs, something that is not the all-rounder's forte.
Thus here is a list of the XI players that would provide the best balance to the Indian team in any condition, especially that it is the semifinal and there will be no second chances for any team.
The Openers: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul
Arguably, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul have been the best batsmen in the Indian team in the World Cup. The former has been breaking records with almost every ball he plays and is the leading run-getter in the tournament. Rohit has scored 5 centuries in 8 innings and seems to be scoring runs for fun. The only thing that prevented the cricketing world from completely endorsing The Hitman was his inconsistency. However, he has put all these doubts to rest and has helped the team in winning most of their matches.
Although KL Rahul was picked as a No. 4 at the beginning of the tournament, an injury to Shikhar Dhawan meant that Rahul was pushed to a more favourable position. Since opening the innings, he has scores of 57, 30, 48, 0, 77 and 111 at an average of 51.43. He has cemented his place at the top of the order with brilliant batting displays.
These two along with Kohli are definitely the confirmed names for the semifinal.
Also read - World cup all time records