India's World Cup squad: Karthik gets nod ahead of Pant; Jadeja drafted in

Unnikrishnan G

Bengaluru, April 15: The selectors picked up India's 15-man squad for the ICC World Cup 2019 on Monday (April 15) in Mumbai. Rishbah Pant was expected to get the nod but the mandarins opted for the experience of Dinesh Karthik.

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India picked up Ravindra Jadeja as the back-up all-rounder instead of a fourth seamer, trusting the pace duties between Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami and Vijay Shankar possibly.

1 Rohit Sharma

One of the best ODI players in history, Rohit is an automatic choice. There was a bit of concern when he sat out of the Mumbai Indians' match against Kings XI Punjab but he allayed concerns playing the next game against Rajasthan Royals.

2 Shikhar Dhawan

Dhawan forms one of the best opening pair along with Rohit and after a dull beginning in the IPL, the left-hander showed glimpses of form with an unbeaten 97 against Kolkata Knight Riders. Even otherwise he is one of the players with an impeccable record in ICC events.

3 Virat Kohli (Captain)

There have been doubts whether the poor run of Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL could cause hurt to him but he played couple brilliant innings to underline the efficiency of his batting ahead of the big event.

4 KL Rahul

Rahul is best used as an opener as he has been showing with the Kings XI Punjab. But in Team India, the openers' slot is locked unless one of them suffers such a massive lean patch. Hence, he will have to wait or get quickly adapted to the demands of a number 4 player.

5 Dhoni

Dhoni seemed to have regained his Midas Touch with the bat this year and that is a good news for India in the World Cup year. His wicketkeeping is sharper than ever and continues to support Kohli in crunch situations.

6 Kedar Jadhav

Jadhav is that typical bits and pieces player one-day format demands. A little more than that perhaps. He can be quite destructive with the bat and can give you a few overs. Jadhav is quite good at breaking the partnerships and getting important breakthroughs.

7 Hardik Pandya

Hardik gave a few reminders of his all-round prowess in the IPL for Mumbai Indians and his presence down the order is a massive boost for India. Hardik seemed to have put behind all those bad chapters and ready for the big battle.

8 Bhuvneshwar Kumar

In the ongoing IPL, Bhuvneshwar has not been on the money for Hyderabad outfit of which he is the captain. He neither has contained the runs effectively nor has taken many wickets. But that does not really count for much as Bhuvi is a big stage performer.

9 Yuzvendra Chahal

The delivery that ripped the off-stump of Mayank Agarwal at Mohali showed the craft and attitude of Chahal and that makes the leg-spinner a good addition to the team. He is always on the look out for wickets.

10 Kuldeep Yadav

With his chinaman, Kuldeep brings the x-factor to India's bowling and he is quite effective in any surface. Along with Chahal, Kuldeep has tied down the opposition in middle overs and hopefully they will be at it again in England.

11 Jasprit Bumrah

Bumrah is easily one of the best bowlers going around at the moment. Upfront or at death, the right-arm pacer is quite effective with his accuracy and pace. If India have to bring back the title home after a gap of 8 years, Bumrah will have to play a massive role.

12 Mohammed Shami

Shami seemed to have regained his white ball mojo and he has been quite good for Kings XI in IPL too. If India needed to field a fourth pacer behind Bumrah, Bhuvi and Hardik, then he is the choice and perhaps even come in as the second seamer of the side.

13 Vijay Shankar

Till a few months back, Vijay was not even in the scheme of things. But a few good outings have pushed him to the forefront and could be on plane to England as the back-up all-rounder to Pandya and the team management an even use him as No 4.

14 Dinesh Karthik

The omission of Karthik from the ODI against Australia had fueled doubts over his place in the London-bound team. But the wise men opted for the TN man's experience over the exuberance of Pant, a good call in the context of the World Cup.

15 Ravindra Jadeja

Jadeja, the selectors think, can add variety to India attack if needed with his accurate left-arm spin. And he is an outstanding fielder too with no less capable as a lower order batsman.

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