India vs Australia 2019: 6 players who need to perform in the series to make it to the World Cup
In just a few months from now, the most prestigious cricketing event, ICC World Cup 2019 will commence at the home of cricket. Though Team India looks pretty much settled with its core team, they are yet to decide on to their 15 member squad for the marquee event this summer.
Considering the need for discovering suitable replacements at key positions, the selectors may want to give opportunities to certain probables to stamp their opportunity and reserve their boarding passes to England. Therefore, this upcoming India vs. Australia series (2 T20Is and 5 ODIs) will be the last international assignment - the last comeback opportunity for renowned players just ahead of the ICC World Cup 2019.
After a great run at the international circuit, the Karnataka opener had a horrible time in 2018 in every format. Eventually, he was sacked from the team not only due to his series of below-par performances and some off-field controversies.
Ex-Indian Captain and India’s current India’s A head coach, Rahul Dravid has once again reiterated the trust in the player’s ability and has ensured an eventual comeback to Team India. Currently, he is playing with India A to regain his form. He will most probably be considered for the series and will be in contention as India’s back up opener for the long intense tournament in England.
Another very talented player and India’s current Test vice-captain might just be picked for the series. Though he has not played ODIs for a while (last ODI was over a year ago against South Africa), the very recent announcement by MSK Prasad regarding his contention for the World Cup indicates that he most probably has one last opportunity to impress in this series.
In fact, it will be great for India if he gets going for two very good reasons: a) excellent batting technique that suits perfectly for English conditions and b) can play at No.4 (when needed) to solve India’s biggest puzzle and strengthen in the shaky middle order.
After having successfully discovered the three main fast bowlers for the mega event – Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami, India will now look to fill the void of the 4th fast bowler.
Umesh Yadav will certainly be on their radar. In all honesty, the speedster has not done much wrong; whenever called upon, he has put in decent performances. The fact is that others have done better than him and therefore, despite being around the Indian team, he still has to prove his mettle one last time to be selected the World Cup squad.
Another player to keep an eye on will be Khaleel Ahmed. Being a left arm bowler, he adds a whole new dimension to India’s dangerous bowling unit.
Though he has shown signs of improvement, Khaleel has not really set the world on fire. An excellent performance this series might just help him sneak into the 15 member squad for the ICC World Cup 2019.
Considering Dhoni's hamstring issues in the recently-concluded series against New Zealand, India may want to have him as a backup wicketkeeper for the long tournament series. Interestingly, a lot will also depend on how Dinesh Karthik shapes up in the series as he can easily double up as wicketkeeper along with fulfilling his newly discovered finisher’s role
Vijay Shankar was announced as a replacement for Hardik Pandya for the New Zealand series and he grabbed the opportunity with both hands.
Though he was never given a chance to bowl by Rohit Sharma, he did impress with the bat on almost every occasion. Virat Kohli and co. do understand the importance of fast bowlers in English conditions, an all-rounder no less. Should he continue to impress in the upcoming series, we could see Vijay Shankar board the plane to England.
The upcoming India vs Australia series is a great opportunity for team management to have one very last look before they announce India’s 15 member squad. Though most players pick themselves, a few still have to put in great performances on the field to fulfil their dream of representing India at the biggest cricketing stage.