After another successful season of the IPL, focus has now shifted to the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup in England and Wales, and the Indian team selectors are keeping a close eye on the injury to Kedar Jadhav.
Although the BCCI and the selection panel are willing to wait before making the final call, the window is narrowing. As per ICC rules, a team can make changes in its 15-member squad until May 23 and this is what is keeping the selectors rather jittery.
As per a report in Cricketnext, the selectors have identified Axar Patel and Ambati Rayudu as the two possible replacements if Jadhav is not declared fit before the deadline. While Rayudu comes in as a regular batsman, Axar can also chip in few overs with the ball.
“The BCCI national selectors have been kept apprised of Jadhav’s recovery process on a day-to-day basis. They are keeping a very close eye on his fitness in conjunction with physio Farhart. It’s too early to say whether Jadhav will be fit enough to take part in the tournament but call on that will be taken next week, probably as late as the departure date of the Indian team which is May 22,” a BCCI source informed CricketNext on Wednesday.
The selectors have already named as many as five options as standby to keep all the bases covered and this is where Ambati Rayudu and Axar Patel can come in handy. Also, there is an option of Rishabh Pant, but the selectors want the young wicket-keeper to focus on his game and, therefore, has been picked in the India ‘A’ squad for the Windies tour in July.
“The selectors had nominated five standbys to cover all bases. Since Jadhav is a specialist batsman, the selectors are looking at replacing him with either Ambati Rayudu or Axar Patel, who like Jadhav can chip in with a few overs as well,” the source further added.
However, these statements have come after Team India’s head coach Ravi Shastri said that he was not too much concerned about the developments and will only be in a situation to make a call when the entire squad is assembled.
“It doesn’t worry me at all. In fact, I am totally blanked out from that. When the flight takes off on the 22nd, we will see who are the 15 on that. Yeah? And just take it from there,” Shastri said in an earlier interview.