Jadeja likely to make the cut in ICC World Cup squad

Jadeja likely to make the cut in ICC World Cup squad

From Prithvi Shaw to Navdeep Saini and from Shubman Gill to Shreyas Iyer, several unexpected names have come into the picture as the Senior National Selection Committee meets here on Monday to pick the 15-member Indian squad for the World Cup.

With 12 of the 15 being certainties in the squad, the M S K Prasad-led committee will have to scratch its head over just three players but the exercise has turned trickier by the day despite claims to the contrary by the concerned people.

To be led by Virat Kohli with Rohit Sharma as his deputy, the Indian team will have sure bets in Shikhar Dhawan, third opener K L Rahul, Kedar Jadhav, M S Dhoni (wicket-keeper), seaming all-rounder Hardik Pandya, pacemen Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah and the wrist spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav.       

Having maintained they are not going to look beyond the core group they had identified, it’s unlikely the selectors would spring any surprise but the suspense over Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, Rishabh Pant, Vijay Shankar and Ravindra Jadeja continues.

Which three among these players make the cut will be known on Monday afternoon following the meeting between Kohli and the selection committee but based on the patterns of the skipper’s statements and prevailing opinion, it appears Pant, Shankar and Jadeja would get the nod. However, there could be plenty of discussion on Jadeja's inclusion. 

Pant may just pip Karthik, who hasn’t exactly set the IPL on fire with the bat, as the Delhi batsman seems to be a favourite with the men that matter. Besides his reputation of being destructive with the bat, he also provides the left-handed option in the middle-order. Though his wicketkeeping skills are still raw and he is known so far for his one-dimensional batting, he is regarded as a match-winner on his day.   

Similarly, ever since the limited-over series against New Zealand early this year, Shankar has emerged as one of the strong contenders for the “vacant” No 4 slot. With his seam bowling, the Tamil Nadu all-rounder also adds more value. Prasad has even stated that Shankar has provided a new dimension to the side. It remains to be seen if the selectors and the skipper trust his skills would be good enough for the conditions in England.

Jadeja’s inclusion appears most complicated and contentious one at the moment. While the Saurashtra player hasn’t done justice to his all-rounder’s tag -- having done little with the bat in recent times -- he can be quite handy with his darting left-arm spin in helpful conditions. Throw in his unmatched fielding skills among the Indians, he offers an irresistible package. But with two wrist spinners assured to travel to the UK, it remains to be seen if Jadeja gets the nod.

DH pick for the World Cup: Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit Sharma (vice-capt), Shikhar Dhawan, K L Rahul, Rishabh Pant, M S Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Vijay Shankar, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal.