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2015 ICC World Cup: Probable playing XIs of top 8 teams

Indian Cricket Team
FEATURED COLUMNIST
Modified 13 Nov 2014, 22:20 IST
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With less than 100 daysto go for the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup, the preparation of the 8 majorteams for the showpiece event willbein full swing in the next few weeks.While no countryis absolutely certain of their startingXIat the moment, the fact that most sidesare playing a plethora of ODI cricket in the coming weeks should help them achieve clarity in their selection sooner rather than later.Heres a look at thelikely playing XIs of the 8 majorteamsfor the World Cup:(Thisarticle is co-writtenby Shankar Narayan and Pradeep Kalamegam)

#1 India

India, who are the defending champions after winning the last edition on home soil, seem to be covering all bases with each passing match. Prior to the home season, death bowling seemed to be the one major worry, but with Mohammad Shami bowling very well in the end overs against West Indies recently and Umesh Yadav looking impressive against the Sri Lankans, India’s worries seems to have lessened a bit.

Yadav’s recent performances mean that he could possibly edge out Ishant Sharma for a spot in the playing XI. Rohit Sharma, after his world record knock of 264, will definitely partner Shikhar Dhawan at the top of the order. Ajinkya Rahane will have to slot in at number 4, unless the management decide to push Virat Kohli there.

Also, his previous experience of playing well in Australia makes him a bigger contender for a spot in the playing eleven. As far as the spinners are concerned, it looks like Jadeja and Ashwin will both be part of the playing eleven, despite Akshar Patel’s recent performances.

 Likely XI

Player Role
Shikhar DhawanOpener
Rohit SharmaOpener
Virat KohliMiddle-order
Ajinkya RahaneMiddle-order
Suresh RainaMiddle-order
MS Dhoni (C)Wicket-keeper
Ravindra JadejaAll-rounder
Ravichandran AshwinAll-rounder
Bhuvneshvar KumarFast Bowler
Mohammed ShamiFast Bowler
Umesh YadavFast Bowler

Reserves

Ishant Sharma: India’s most experienced fast bowler among the current lot misses out on a spot in the eleven, owing to the fact that the Delhi pacer hasn't represented India in coloured clothing as consistently as he has done in whites.

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Akshar Patel: A cricketer in the mould of Ravindra Jadeja, Akshar Patel has had a good start to his international career, but with a more experienced Jadeja already present, the chances of the 20-year-old making it to the XI in Australia & NZ does look a bit slim. 

Ambati Rayudu: Despite good performances against Sri Lanka, the 29-year old misses out on a spot due to the comeback of Rohit Sharma, who had a good outing in Australia in 2008.

Varun Aaron: The fast bowler from Jharkhand has been included in the squad for the Tests, but hasn’t been a regular fixture in the ODIs due to poor form and injuries, but his pace could prove to be useful on the bouncy pitches of Australia.

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Published 12 Nov 2014, 22:18 IST
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