Former India coach Anil Kumble had a few surprises as he named his choices for the India squad for the upcoming World Cup 2019. While the legendary leg-spinner included both Rishabh Pant and Khaleel Ahmed in his squad, he opted for Vijay Shankar in place of Ravindra Jadeja when it came to the second all-rounder spot.
“I’ll go with the obvious 11, which I believe selects itself. Which is Rohit, Shikhar, Virat, MS, Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvi, Chahal, Kuldeep, Bumrah, Shami. So this will be our 11. Not necessarily the playing 11 but then you know they will definitely be the 11 which will be a part of the 15. The 12, 13, 14, 15 is a challenge; I believe that it’ll either be Vijay Shankar or Jadeja, one of them and from what you’ve seen of Vijay Shankar as a batsman. I think he gets the nod. From a bowling perspective, he still doesn’t have the opportunity or I don’t think you can trust him to bowl your 10 overs. So that’s a bit of a challenge so I would go with Vijay Shankar,” Kumble told CricketNext.
When it comes to most sectors, Kumble went with the obvious choices but he opted for young fast bowler Khaleel Ahmed when it came to choosing a partner for Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. As a result, he included just two spinners – Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal – in his team.
The other tussle was between Shankar and Jadeja when it came to the all-rounder spot. With Kedar Jadhav and Hardik Pandya already in his team, Kumble went for Vijay Shankar who is a better batsman than Jadeja in his opinion.
Anil Kumble’s India squad for World Cup: Virat Kohli (captain), MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Khaleel Ahmed, Ambati Rayudu, Rishabh Pant and Vijay Shankar.