Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 June 2019

India's potential World Cup squad: Who are the fringe players?

There are still a few spots up for grabs in the one-day international side for cricket's flagship tournament

Midway through India's one-day international series in New Zealand last month, stand-in captain Rohit Sharma said the squad for the Cricket World Cup during the summer was more or less a lock.

The opening batsman, himself an undroppable player, said only a few places in the side needed filling. However, he added fringe players would still be given a go especially keeping in mind the chances of injury to senior members of the team.

Like Rohit, opening partner Shikhar Dhawan is also a guaranteed place, as are captain Virat Kohli and his predecessor, wicketkeeper-batsman MS Dhoni.

Seam-bowling all-rounder Hardik Pandya, fast bowlers Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal also pick themselves. Ambati Rayudu and Kedar Jadhav have done enough to be considered a part of the core of India's middle order, and they can also play the role of part-time spinner when the situation demands it.

That leaves space for a back-up opener, a back-up wicketkeeper, an additional fast bowler or an all-rounder.

Looking at the squad India have picked for the five-match ODI series at home against Australia starting on March 2, it looks like Dinesh Karthik will be overlooked for Rishabh Pant as the back-up stumper in England and Wales, while middle-order batsmen Manish Pandey and Ajinkya Rahane will be ignored. Fast bowler Umesh Yadav, too, is on the outside looking in at the moment.

That Karthik has been dropped for the Australia series is big news as he had been persisted with for the past five years and was doing a decent job finishing games. Just as interesting is the inclusion of seam-bowling all-rounder Vijay Shankar on the back of his impressive performances in New Zealand.

This possibly means left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja might not find a place in the World Cup squad, which is a shame given his considerable international experience, and the fact he is a handy lower-order batsman and brilliant fielder.

But as chief selector MSK Prasad said this week, nothing is set in stone and there is still time for those not considered for the Australia series to still make the final cut. In which case, here is a look at which players are on the fringes and what their chances are to play in the world's most prestigious cricket tournament.

Updated: February 17, 2019 02:58 PM

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