The world’s largest and the most popular cricket tournament, the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 is just few days away and the various participating teams are busy in preparations for the mega event.
The 2019 edition of the quadrennial tournament will be hosted by England and Wales and the games will begin on the 30th of May. Team teams – England, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and West Indies – will compete against each other in the group stages, before the top-four teams enter the semi-finals.
Even though all the participating teams are strong enough to lay their hands on the trophy, a few teams have been labelled as favourites – one of them being Team India.
India have named a strong 15-man squad to play in the World Cup. They have an able captain in Virat Kohli, who is also the team’s best batsman if not the world’s best at the moment. Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, MS Dhoni and Dinesh Karthik will take up batting responsibilities alongside Kohli.
Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal are India’s front-line bowlers while the team also boasts of solid all-round options in Hardik Pandya, Vijay Shankar, Kedar Jadhav and Ravindra Jadeja.
India is a country known for brilliantly talented cricketers. While only 15 players could make it into the final World Cup squad, there definitely are quite a few stars who are unlucky not to have made the cut. Hence, today we will be discussing about a “rejected Indian XI” that could not only have played the tournament, but could also have given any opposing team a good run for their money.
That being said, here is the Team India Rejected XI:
Mayank Agarwal: Agarwal had a highly successful domestic season and he also played for India A against England Lions, Australia A, New Zealand A and South Africa A in 2018-19. He was excellent with the bat and along with Prithvi Shaw who is also his India A teammate, provided the team with much-needed stability in opening, that went on prove crucial in many victories.
Prithvi Shaw: Prithvi Shaw is one of the most exciting newcomers in Indian cricket. The youngster rose to fame in Mumbai’s cricketing circles as a 14-year-old and five years later, his cricketing prowess has only improved by leaps and bounds. Shaw is already a star in the IPL as well, for his side the Delhi Capitals.
Shubman Gill: Another young prodigy, Shubman Gill rose to fame in the U-19 Cricket World Cup in 2018. He scored a century against Pakistan and also played a few other innings that proved decisive in India’s title run in the global tournament. In the IPL, Gill plays for the Kolkata Knight Riders where he is a trusted top-order batsman.
Shreyas Iyer (captain): Shreyas Iyer is an important figure in Mumbai cricket and also for the Delhi Capitals in the IPL, where he is the captain. Iyer led DC to the playoffs in the 2019 IPL season – proving his captaincy powers. He is also a solid top-order batsman and recently clinched the record of striking the most sixes in a domestic T20I game in India (15).
Manish Pandey: Pandey is a trustworthy batsman irrespective of where he is placed in the batting order. He has also been a part of India’s first-class teams for the past few years now, which indicates that he is quite dependable with the willow.
Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper): Undoubtedly the next big thing in Indian Cricket, Rishabh Pant a.k.a “The babysitter” was touted to be named in the final squad for Team India in the World Cup but he missed out unfortunately as the selectors chose to go with Dinesh Karthik as their secondary wicket-keeping option. An able wicket-keeper batsman, Pant’s inclusion in this squad is a no-brainer.
Krunal Pandya: The elder brother of Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya is an equally-able all-rounder and have partnered Hardik at Mumbai Indians in the IPL for the past few seasons. Krunal recently made his international debut in Australia as well, where he was a moderate success. Krunal Pandya would be very useful for the team as a spin-bowling all-rounder who can also play the big shots when needed.
Ravichandran Ashwin: India’s front-line spinner for a long time, Ashwin was sidelined due to the sudden rise of the wrist-spin duo, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav. Ashwin, however continues to shine in the domestic circuit and also in the IPL, where he also captains Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). He was one of KXIP’s leading wicket-takers in the 2019 IPL season.
Deepak Chahar: Chahar plays for the Chennai Super Kings in the IPL, where he played a major role in their title win in 2018 and their run to the finals in 2019. A dangerous new-ball bowler, Chahar could make maximum use of the swinging English conditions to wreak havoc on the batsmen.
Khaleel Ahmed: Ahmed debuted for India in late 2018. An up-and-coming left-handed pacer, Ahmed is known for his sharp wicket-taking abilities. He could be a good option in the middle overs, when he relies on pace to take wickets.
Ishant Sharma: Ishant Sharma has been a consistent performer for Team India since 2008. He is an expert in Test cricket, while in limited-overs he is used only sparingly. That does not take away anything from the Delhi Capitals star, whose ability to maintain pace, line and length over long spells make him an useful bowler.
As you can see, Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey and Rishabh Pant would be the main batsmen, while Krunal Pandya would be the all-rounder option. Ashwin would be the front-line spinner with Pandya available as a secondary option. Deepak Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed and Ishant Sharma would be India’s pace-bowlers.
Shreyas Iyer led his Delhi Capitals (DC) side very well in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 and we need not looking beyond him for the role of captain. Rishabh Pant would be the automatic pick for keeping the wickets.
So what do you think of our Team India Rejected XI for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019? Let us know in the comments below.