India announced their 15-man World Cup squad on Monday.
There were no surprises in the India World Cup squad other than the inclusion of Vijay Shankar, who has played nine ODIs for India and made his debut this year.
The exclusion of Risabh Pant may be an unfavourable one, but India selector Mannava Sri Kanth Prasad explained his omittance.
‘It was definitely a case where we debated in length. We all were in unison that either Pant or DK will come in only when Mahi [Mahendra Singh Dhoni] is injured. In an important game, wicketkeeping is also important. That’s the reason we went with Dinesh Karthik.
‘We did give a few more chances to Ambati Rayudu, but Vijay Shankar gives three dimensions. He can bat, if the conditions are overcast he can bowl, plus he is a fielder. We are looking at Vijay Shankar as a No 4. Now we have plenty of options for that slot.’
He also commented on KL Rahul’s inclusion.
‘After the Champions Trophy, we have tried quite a few middle-order batsmen, which also included Dinesh Karthik, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey,’ said Prasad.
‘To begin with, he will only be a reserve opener, but if the team management needs, he can bat in the middle order too.’
Four extra fast bowlers will travel with the team. They will bowl in the nets and also stay as a standby should there be an injury. The bowlers haven’t yet been named.
India World Cup squad: Virat Kohli (Capt), Rohit Sharma (vc), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Vijay Shankar, MS Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami