With less than six months time remains as the world embarks upon a journey for cricket's biggest carnival that kicks off in the United Kingdom from May 30 next year. For yet another time in the history of the world cricket, the top teams will lock horns in a one and a half month long affair to be eventually crowned as the World Champions on July 14. The competition among the world's top ten teams will see them battling it out against each other for that coveted World Cup Trophy.
There's no denying the fact that winning the World Cup Trophy is a matter of pride and honour for the country and each of those players who toil hard to attain glory. With a healthy mix of youth and experience, even Virat Kohli-led side would board the flight to London in pursuit of the dream to get their hands on the elusive trophy at the end of the tournament.
Playing a World Cup for the country is in itself a great achievement to boast about, and being a part of the Champions' side is always an 'icing on the cake'. Players tussle hard to be in the reckoning list of probable which are short-listed for the prestigious tournament.
With more or less settled side, India is a strong contender along with hosts England, to embellish their cabinet with yet another impressive feat of glory.
But the men in blue would be cautious of the last minute injuries to the players, which can disrupt the balance of the side. And so, they would want to ensure the availability of backup players in the squad, who can step up in the absence of the regulars.
Here's a look at the three Indian players who can stage a comeback before World Cup 2019:
#3. Mohammed Shami
Currently a warhorse for India in the longest format of the game, Mohammed Shami has grown by leaps and bounds to be recognized as one of India's most skilful bowler in the current day and age.
His ability with the red-ball with an upright seam is there for everybody to appreciate, but it is his under-utilization in the limited overs setup which is a matter of concern.
Shami, who was India's most successful bowler in the World Cup 2015, would want to represent his country even in the shorter versions of the game. Though the men in blue currently boast of potent new ball ODI pair in Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah, Kohli might be perturbed due to lack of an experienced backup seamer despite India nurturing a young Khaleel Ahmed as the third seamer for the World Cup.
India's biggest match-winner on home soil in the past five years, Ravichandran Ashwin was a key member in India's limited overs setup while MS Dhoni was at the helm of things. However, the declining success rate of off-spinners with the white-ball saw him out of the ODI squad after a series of failures in Champions Trophy 2017.
From being India's go-to weapon at one point in time, then to be placed fourth in the pecking order of spinners, life has changed rather quickly for the Tamil Nadu veteran.
But still, there is room for Ashwin to stake a claim with his performance at the domestic level and consistent show in the red-ball format. His form and a sharp cricketing brain to pick wickets could be the only way to lead his path into the ODI team.
#1. Dinesh Karthik
Dinesh Karthik has been the quintessential guy- who is not deterred by the lack of opportunities through the entire course of his unpredictable career. Given that he had no chance to stage a comeback as a wicket-keeper in the Indian side, the 33-year old made the hard yards to be selected as a reliable middle-order batsman for the national team.
Times and again, he continues to notch up performances in the domestic circuit to find a place for himself in the Indian side. However, he has rarely been given a consistent run in the playing XI after being recalled several times.
Even after being India's consistent run-scorer in Asia Cup 2018, he was axed from ODI squad against Windies. It will be no surprise if Karthik is once again in the reckoning for a spot in the ODI squad before the World Cup on the back of some of his stellar finishes in the T20Is in the lower-middle order.