IPL 2019: 5 Indian players who can seal World Cup spot with stellar show in IPL
These players are on the fringes, but with a solid show in the upcoming season of the IPL can be very hard to ignore for the World Cup squad.Updated: Mar 19, 2019 15:08 IST
The Kolkata Knight Riders captain needs to have a big season personally and no one knows this better than DK himself. Entrusted with captaincy last season, Karthik surprised many by taking to the role as fish to water and led his team to the play-offs. His performances with the bat lower down the order didn’t go unnoticed and Karthik became a mainstay in the Indian middle order for a while.
But as has been the case with many middle order batsmen and the perennial musical chair of selection, Karthik finds himself down the pecking order behind Rishabh Pant as the race for World Cup berths heat up. Pant’s wicket-keeping skills though were exposed in the last two ODIs against Australia and his errors may have cost India the series. With Dhoni expected to be the keeper for the World Cup, India would need more of a batsman in the middle order than a reserve wicket-keeper and that is where Pant is still winning the race.
Karthik thus needs to bat higher up the order for KKR and needs to make crucial contributions to ensure the selectors are forced to choose him over the Delhi Capitals keeper.
The opener was in the form of his life last season and his exploits at the top of the order ensured Kings XI Punjab were in the hunt for a play-offs place till the very end. Rahul’s international career though has taken a hit since then. Once considered a certainty for the World Cup, Rahul is now battling with several others to ensure he is on the flight to England in a couple of months.
The fact that India is yet to find a number 4 works for him and a bagful of runs coulld help the Bengaluru boy steal a march over the other contenders.
The man who leads the race currently for the number 4 spot. Rayudu had a stellar season for Chennai Super Kings in 2018 and was a key figure in their run to the title. Favoured majorly by MS Dhoni, which could be a clincher, Rayudu has been a utility cricketer throughout his IPL career.
What he needs though is consistency and big knocks under his belt. IPL could help him showcase his skills as a top order batsman and top fielder yet again and Rayudu could well this tournament to cement his slot in the Indian squad for the showpiece event.
His final over against Australia in the T20 series at home and Mohammed Shami’s great comeback in the 50-over format means Umesh Yadav is way behind in the race for a spot in the World Cup squad. The pacer though has done well for Vidarbha in domestic cricket. Part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore squad, Umesh has the advantage of playing closely with India skipper Virat Kohli and this is his big opportunity.
Umesh has the raw pace and verve to trouble any batsman, what he lacks is discipline. If the paceman tightens up his game a little and produces the goods for an RCB squad majorly lacking on match winners in the bowling department, he could well earn himself the skipper’s blessings.
Ajinkya Rahane/Ravichandran Ashwin
Two players who were once mainstays of India’s limited overs teams are now battling for survival, having been labelled as Test specialists. Both Rahane and Ashwin have already missed the bus according to popular belief but World Cup happens every four and no team would want to miss out on quality.
No one can argue these two players have oodles of quality and the necessary experience to do well in a big tournament like the World Cup. As leaders of their respective IPL franchisees, both Rahane and Ashwin will have their task cut out. But a good personal showing tremendously boost their chances of picking up a wildcard entry into the Indian squad.
First Published: Mar 19, 2019 14:57 IST