With the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 around the corner, it is time for skipper Virat Kohli and the selectors to put their thinking caps on and pick the best 15 to represent the side during the marquee event in England and Wales.
In the meantime, former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly has picked his Indian squad for the upcoming World Cup starting May 30 and he feels it is the fast bowling attack that will be a deciding factor for the Men in Blue at the mega 50-overs tournament.
The southpaw had most of the names on the expected lines. With the likes of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni in the team, Ganguly omitted both Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant from his predicted list.
In the bowling unit, Ganguly picked seam bowler Umesh Yadav ahead of left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja, who replaced injured Hardik Pandya in the ongoing ODI series between India and Australia.
The team also features batting all-rounder Vijay Shankar, who made his ODI debut against Australia in Melbourne this year and KL Rahul, who joined the national team for limited overs series against Australia, following the lift of suspension which was imposed in the wake of his comments at a celebrity chat show, ‘Koffee with Karan’.
India as one of the favourites to win the 2019 World Cup
Ganguly, who led India to the World Cup final in 2003, reiterated that India is among one of the favourites to win cricket’s biggest tournament for the third time.
“India is one of the favourites for sure. But West Indies, New Zealand, Sri Lanka are also there in the mix. Recently Sri Lanka has been in terrific form. They defeated South Africa. I think it will be a superb World Cup,” he said.
Australia may be going through one of their worst phases, but Ganguly still believes the return of Steve Smith and David Warner will be a big boost for the reigning world champions.
“Australia may be going through a rough patch. But there is no doubt that the return of Smith and Warner will change the entire complexion of the team and with Maxwell already there, they will be a totally different outfit,” Ganguly added.
Sourav Ganguly’s 15-man India squad for ICC Cricket World Cup 2019:
Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, MS Dhoni (wicketkeeper), Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Vijay Shankar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav.