Selectors to name 15-man World Cup squad on Monday, all eyes on No 4 slot

The BCCI selectors will meet in Mumbai on Wednesday to pick the 15-man Indian squad for the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup. The 50-over World Cup is scheduled to start in England on May 30.

All five selectors will be present during the meeting, which will also be attended by coach Ravi Shastri, captain Virat Kohli and interim secretary of BCCI Amitabh Chaudhary.

It is expected that the 15-man squad will have at least seven players who were part of the team in 2015 World Cup too, including skipper Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Mahender Singh Dhoni, Bhuneshwar Kumar and Mohammad Shami.

Kedhar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal and Jaspreet Bumrah are also set to find their place in the squad for the marquee event. The main competition in the 15-man squad will be for three spots – the No.4 slot, the second wicketkeeper and the fourth pacer.

Ambati Rayudu, K L Rahul and all-rounder Vijay Shankar’s name are in the contention for the No.4 slot.

Experts maintain that the selectors will have to brainstorm a lot over the selection of the second wicketkeeper as both Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik are worthy candidates for this slot. Going by the current form young Pant has an advantage over Karthik but if the selectors will go for experience then Karthik is likely to get the nod.

Pant is in red-hot form these days and he is one batsman who is capable of batting at any slot between Nos 1 and 7. The other advantage which Pant has over Karthik is that he is a left-hander and it adds variety to the batting line-up. But Karthik is solid behind the wickets and his keeping against spinner is better than Pant.

The selectors will also hold discussions over the selection of fourth specialist seamer because in English condition the presence of quality seamers is always beneficial for the team. Ishant Sharma, Navdeep Saini, Umesh Yadav and Deepak Chahar are in the race for fourth pacer plot.

Potential squad:

Certainties: (14)

Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Vijay Shankar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ravindra Jadeja

15th member (options)

If 2nd keeper: Dinesh Karthik/Rishabh Pant

If specialist No 4: Ambati Rayudu

If 4th pacer: Umesh Yadav/Khaleel Ahmed/Ishant Sharma/Navdeep Saini.

The meeting is scheduled to start at around 1 pm. BCCI Secretary Amitabh Chaudhary and chief selector MSK Prasad will address the media at around 3pm and it is expected that they would announce the names of selected players in the press meet.

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