With exactly 100 days remaining for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, the Indian selectors do not have a lot of time left. There are a maximum of 9 ODI’s, which the Indian team can play before the grand event of cricket commences. The selectors have a massive headache of selecting the best possible squad for the World Cup. A lot of permutations and combinations have been tried by the team management, to assemble the best team.
Being an ardent Indian cricket fan, I list down my squad of 15 for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. To name it, I would refer it as TEAM KC:
1. SHIKHAR DHAWAN
Dhawan has been a regular member of the team since the ICC Champions Trophy 2013. His ODI record has been fantastic to say the least. His ability to cut the ball is gifted, and a lot will depend upon the explosive starts he provides Down Under.
2. AJINKYA RAHANE
Having tasted success in England as an opener, and now a ton against Sri Lanka, Rahane is the ideal candidate to partner Dhawan in Australia. The Mumbai lad is technically one of the soundest batsmen within the Indian setup. As a consequence of his technique, Rahane can score at a healthy rate as well. His job in most cases will be to support Dhawan.
3. VIRAT KOHLI
Undoubtedly India’s best batsman going into the World Cup. With a towering batting average of 53.28 in Australia, Kohli will be the spine of the Indian batting. More often than not, when Kohli fires, the team gets to the desired result. There could be a similar situation lined up for the World Cup.
4. ROHIT SHARMA
Sharma would have to come back to his original middle order slot for the World Cup. The signs as of now atleast suggest that. Sharma’s attributes of finishing the innings in a grand fashion may be another reason, behind keeping him in the middle order.
5. SURESH RAINA
The team’s most efficient player will have to contribute in several ways. Raina has ironed out almost all his flaws against short pitched bowling. He would be expected to provide a strong finish towards the end of the innings. His handy off spin bowling is more than an asset for the side. With Raina in his ranks, skipper MS Dhoni will feel comfortable, as Raina’s bowling is pretty economical.
6. MS DHONI
The phrase “BEST FINISHER” and MS Dhoni often go hand in hand. Dhoni has a terrific record in every nation and condition. Till MS Dhoni is at the wicket, Indians need not worry about chasing totals. His tactical moves in the field will matter the most in India’s World Cup campaign.
7. RAVINDRA JADEJA
With the cushion of distant boundaries, expect Jadeja to be bowling freely in Australia. Skipper Dhoni has relied on Jadeja for the death overs. This may not be the case for the World Cup as spinners find very little purchase in Australia and New Zealand. However, his miserly spells and lusty blows towards the end may often turn the tide in India’s favour.
With just 8 wickets in 12 games in Oceania, Ashwin would be eager to redeem himself. And no better opportunity than the World Cup to do that. Ashwin has done well in several mega events, and another strong performance would be expected from the offie.
9. BHUVANESHWAR KUMAR
His bowling average may not be the best, but his economy rate of 4.60 is surely worth applauding. He may not get the desired swing Down Under with the Kookaburra ball, so it will be crucial for Kumar to make the limited swing count in the first few overs.
10. MOHAMMED SHAMI
The most successful pacer of 2014 will have to be at his best in order to enhance India’s chances at the World Cup. Shami has been phenomenal in the death overs. Though his economy rate is high, his quick wicket taking abilities are surely a positive. Shami’s overs at the death could change the complexion of the match in India’s favour.
11. ISHANT SHARMA
Going into the World Cup, Ishant will be the most experienced pacer. Sharma’s record in Australia has been decent and his knowledge of the conditions will be handy. Sharma was brilliant in the Champions Trophy played in the UK. Optimistic expectations can be laid on Sharma, who would play his first World Cup.
12. UMESH YADAV
The pacer from Vidharbha was one of the rare positives when India toured Australia in 2011/12. His outswingers in excess of 145 km/hr on lively pitches will be tough to negotiate. However, Yadav would have to take care of his line and length, as the batsmen will be severe on anything loose.
13. VARUN AARON
Aaron recently clocked in at 152.3 km/hr on a flaccid Cuttack wicket. Just imagine how swift will Aaron be at the WACA? The most worrying sign for Aaron is his fitness. If he manages to stay fit throughout the endeavor, then Aaron will have a key role to play on the steamy pitches.
14. KARN SHARMA
Wrist spinners have been highly successful in Australia. Be it Warne, Macgill or Kumble; all have found genuine success Down Under. With long boundaries supporting him, Karn will be an asset for the side. Karn is quick through the air, and therefore the batsman does not get the time to adjust his position against him.
15. ROBIN UTHAPPA
Uthappa will be the backup keeper and the opener. Dhoni hardly gets injured, so Uthappa can even be played as a pure batsman. In case Dhoni is unfit, Uthappa can keep, as he is often used to it. Uthappa has toured Australia in the past, so his experience will surely count.