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JUST IN: Aakash Chopra reveals his 15 member squad for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019

With World Cup 2019 round the corner, Aakash Chopra has revealed his 15 member squad for the Indian cricket team.

As India and Australia gear up for yet another adventurous series, this time India being the host, it will be the last event before both the teams head towards the World Cup. And with this final series, India would be finalizing their 15-member squad for the mega event scheduled to kickstart in less than four months. However, after India’s victorious tour at New Zealand India’s head coach Ravi Shastri mentioned that the team would be more or less the same with one or two places to be checked before the final announcement is made.

While there are chances of a new face for the upcoming Australia series at home, former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra is of the opinion that Rishabh Pant can be tried out in the middle-order in the five-match ODI contest while suggesting his predicted India squad for World Cup 2019, wherein Ravindra Jadeja spot goes missing.

Aakash praised Ambati Rayudi for his splemdid perfromancde scoring a brilliant 90 in the fifth ODI agaist New Zealand on Sunday. which helped him save a spot for himself at England. Rayudu, who was constantly criticsied for his ability at No.4, helped India to a challenging total after New Zealand had ripped off 4 wickets earlier.

“Rayudu was the last one to enter the race and it needed only a handful of good knocks to put him at the top of the queue. Late starters have a significant advantage while the team is closing in on a world event, for there’s hardly any time left for experimentation. There were some question marks about Rayudu’s efficiency in trying circumstances but the last game of this tour has sealed his place,” he wrote in his column for ESPN Sports. 

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Another change that Aakash made in the batting lineup was dropping KL Rahul and including Pant “to make a strong impression in the limited opportunities he’s likely to get” in the Australia home series that starts March 2. 

Speaking of the bowling unit, Aakash felt India should name Khaleel Ahmed as the reserve seamer owing to his left-handedness, while he has left out Jadeja from the mix saying that “It’s not viable to pick him at the cost of either an extra batsman or a fast bowler.”

Aakash Chopra’s India World Cup XV: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (c), Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wk), Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Khaleel Ahmed, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal.

The deadline for submission of the squad for World Cup is April 23. Hence India have five games and 50 more days to close in on their final 15.

AUTHOR’S TAKE:

The current Indian squads seem to be the best, with victory after victory. But still, there is a need to fix the jigsaw puzzle. Jadeja’s late progress still assures him the ticket to the World Cup but Pandya’s exceptional performance in the New Zealand series has certainly left a question mark on the spin-all rounder’s position in the team.

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