ICC World Cup 2019: ‘Fourth fast-bowling option is important’ - Zaheer Khan picks Indian squad for tournament
Former India pacer Zaheer Khan feels that majority of the players pick themselves in the Indian team for this year’s ICC World Cup, but the fight will be between few players in the middle-order.
Speaking to Cricbuzz, Zaheer said that all-rounder Hardik Pandya will play a crucial role in the formation of the team as his presence in the side gives the team management a plethora of options to choose from.
Zaheer feels that having Pandya in the side means India can either go with four fast-bowlers and him as the fifth pacer or the team can opt to have him as the fourth pacer and a batsman can come into the XI. So, two out of Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik and KL Rahul will board the plane for England and Wales.
“The main factor which will be up for the debate is that whether you want to go with four fast bowlers and Hardik Pandya or you want to take that chance and say okay, he is our fourth seamer,” Zaheer said.
“I still feel four fast bowler option is important, considering the fact that the World Cup is going to be a long tournament. So you don’t want a bowler to come from outside and right away try to fit in the squad. So when you are picking your squad, you would want to cover all your bases,” he added.
Earlier, speaking to Hindustan Times, Zaheer had put his weight behind wicket-keeper-batsman MS Dhoni and said that his presence in the side will help the younger players deal with pressure better.
“Dhoni is not just bringing his game to the table. Pressure plays a big part at the World Cup and he has vast experience; we can see how active he is behind the wicket as well, sharing inputs with the captain,” Zaheer had said.
Indian squad as picked by Zaheer –
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (C), MS Dhoni (WK), Ambati Rayudu/Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Rishabh Pant, KL Rahul/pacer.