India won the recently concluded three-match ODI series against Australia 2-1, but have their own set of plans while going into the 2019 World Cup, which is only four months away.
The likes of Shikhar Dhawan and Ambati Rayudu couldn’t perform as per expectations in Australia. Moreover, it’s yet not known whether Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul would be selected after their sexist comments on ‘Koffee With Karan’.
In the meantime, it has been reports that Ajinkya Rahane and Rishabh Pant’s spots have been contemplated for the ICC event in England, starting May 30.
Both would be playing for India ‘A’ in the five-match unofficial One Day series against England Lions in India, set to begin from January 23, the same day when the senior team also starts their New Zealand tour. Rahane will be playing in the first three matches and would be leading the team.
Pant has also been picked to play the last two One Day matches. He has been instructed to bat higher up the order. Moreover, it was known that the selectors are in desperate need of a proper back-up players for the 2019 World Cup.
“Recently, Pant has been told by the team management to bat up the order and get used to the newer ball. If need be, Pant could come in as a reserve top order batsman. The selectors don’t want a situation where they don’t have a back-up ready. Anyway, Pant was given rest to come back fresh for the limited-overs season,” a source was quoted as saying in the Times of India (TOI).
Pant won’t be playing the ODIs in New Zealand but would be back for the three-match T20I series, which is scheduled to begin from February 6.
Meanwhile, Rahane last played an ODI against South Africa in Centurion in February 2018. Since then, he has only been playing Test cricket for India.