Asia Cup 2018: Five Indian stars looking to cement spot for 2019 World Cup
Hindustan Times takes a look at the five Indian players looking to seal a place in the team for World Cup, with the help of their performance at the Asia Cup.cricket Updated: Sep 19, 2018 09:27 IST
With the 2019 ICC World Cup fast approaching, there are still a few questions left unanswered as far as the Indian team composition is concerned for the showpiece event. While it can be said that the core of the team is well in place and few players are guaranteed of their respective spots on the England flight, there remain a few who will look to leave their mark in the ongoing Asia Cup and knock the doors of the national selectors for a place in the team for the multi-nation event.
Hindustan Times takes a look at the five Indian cricketers looking to seal a place in the team for World Cup, with the help of their performances at the Asia Cup:
Since making his debut in 2013, middle-order batsman has never been able to cement his spot in the Indian squad. He has been in and out of the team and largely has toured Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, playing his last ODI in 2016. However, a great season with Chennai Super Kings in the IPL has put him back in the reckoning for India and he missed the flight to England only because of a failed Yo-Yo test. But with Virat Kohli rested for the Asia Cup, a spot in the middle-order opened up and if Rayudu manages to recreate his IPL form, then expect the batsman to be in contention for a spot in the World Cup squad.
Like Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav too has been in and out of the Indian team since making his debut four years ago against Sri Lanka. But what tips the scale in favour of him than most middle-order fringe players is his knack of picking up wickets with his off-spinners. Jadhav showed his class against England at home when he smashed 120, 22 and 90 in the three ODIs. But since then, he has been very hot and cold with his performances. And with so many batsmen gunning for a place in the jam-packed India middle-order, Jadhav may be left with just one last chance to impress the selectors for a place in the WC squad.
Right-hander Manish Pandey is just 22-matches old in the 50-over format and since scoring 104* in Sydney in 2014, he hasn’t done enough to justify his place in the squad. In his defense, Pandey comes down the order and that doesn’t allow him the time to apply himself at the crease. But the one aspect of his game that skipper Virat Kohli loves is his fielding. Pandey is regarded as one of the best fielders in the country and if he manages to get some runs under his belt in the Asia Cup, then he would be one of the front-runners to board the plane to England.
Fast-bowler Shardul Thakur must count himself unlucky because his rise coincided with that of the Indian pacers. Currently, India are going through a phase where there is a massive pool of good pacers and that is why Shardul’s ODI match count reads just 4. But the seamer has an outside chance of making it to the World Cup, like any other Indian pacer, apart from Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. All that the 26-year-old can do is to perform well at the Asia Cup so that the selectors have to think hard before showing him the door for the showpiece event in England.
Rajasthan-born Khaleel Ahmed received his maiden India call-up on the back of some decent performances in the domestic circuit recently. With age on his side, Khaleel is one for the future, which is why he got the call-up in the first place ahead of so many others. There is almost no chance of him going for the World Cup, but if he manages to put some eye-catching performance at the Asia Cup, he might be able to twist the mind of the selectors in his favour. After all, skipper Kohli is known to be fond of left-arm pacers and the angle they create against right handers.
First Published: Sep 16, 2018 14:52 IST