Form close to World Cup will be crucial for selection: Ravi Shastri

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Oct 07, 2014 03:38 IST

India's one-day side helped salvage the England tour with an impressive display after the Test series debacle, but the real challenge for the side will come at next year's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Former India all-rounder Ravi Shastri, who made a difference after taking charge as team director before the ODI series in England, has been asked to stay on till the World Cup. And Shastri is already in touch with the selection committee led by his former Mumbai and India teammate, Sandeep Patil.

"We need to have a dialogue with the selectors on where they are coming from, what their train of thought is, (and let them know) what the team feels. I am in touch with all five of them," Shastri said on Monday.

"My job is not to select the team, but to communicate with them (selection committee) so that we both are on the same page," he said at panel discussion.

Crucial to India's preparation to defend the World Cup will be two ODI series, the one against West Indies starting on Wednesday and the tri-series in Australia - England are the third team - before which the squad for the February-March World Cup would have been announced.

The conditions will be vastly different from home, and India will have to focus on specific areas. "The prime importance will be given to form (at the time of selection). The combinations are important, we have to identify our strengths and see who the right people are to manage those roles," he said.

Players who make an impact in the domestic circuit could also be fast tracked into the team, he said. The limited overs Vijay Hazare trophy will take place in November, giving the BCCI more options and the players an excellent chance.

"I will be watching domestic cricket. That is where I will divide my team leading into the World Cup. I will be coming in and out during the Australia series. The Indian team will be cut off, the coaching staff will be cut off. It won't be a bad idea to come down and see a few games. There are gaps between Test matches," the former India skipper added.

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