The 2019 ICC World Cup is just months away and all the participating teams are on the verge of finalizing their squads for the ICC mega event. The tournament will be hosted by England and Wales for the fifth time.
The tournament also sees going back to the 1992 World Cup format with all the 10 participating teams playing each other once in a round robin format.
The top eight teams in the ICC ODI ranking by the cutoff date last year, qualified for the World Cup directly. The West Indies and Afghanistan qualified for the ICC World Cup 2019, by becoming the top two teams in the ICC World cup qualifiers in 2018 in Zimbabwe.
1983 and 2011 World Cup winners and 2015 World Cup semi-finalists Team India will go into the tournament led by Virat Kohli and much is expected from the premier ODI team, which has been winning matches and series both home and away on regular basis.
Keeping that in mind, Team COC takes a look at the best possible playing XI for the Team India to excel under the tutelage of Virat Kohli. A good showing from Virat Kohli and his men might fulfill the dream of bringing the World Cup back to India and lift the trophy in England after a gap of 36 years.
In the last year, Team India has registered ODI series win in South Africa, Australia and most recently New Zealand. The Indian team also won the 2019 Asia Cup, although under the captaincy of Rohit Sharma. But overall the team has had a pretty settled playing combination for the better part of last one year.
Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan have been excellent with the bat in the past year. Sharma has hit 1375 runs in 25 matches at an average of 68.75 in the last year (1st Jan 2018-24th Jan 2019) with 6 centuries to his name. Dhawan, meanwhile, has scored 1121 runs in 25 matches with 3 centuries to his name with an average of 48.73.
Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan have been very successful as openers in the two previous editions of ICC Champions Trophy, which were held in England in 2013 and 2017 and 2019 World Cup will be the best place to show their mettle.
However, the best batsman of the team has been Virat Kohli, who has amassed 1503 runs in just 20 matches with an average of 100.20 with 7 centuries to his name. Kohli has also completed 10,000 runs in ODIs and has eclipsed Ricky Ponting as the second highest ODI century maker with 39 centuries to his name.
At the most debated no.4 spot, the most probable candidate is Ambati Rayudu, who has been consistent at the spot with 459 runs in 15 matches with an average of 51.00 and one century. He has shown aptitude of scoring runs at a good rate in the middle overs.
At no.5 comes MS Dhoni, who in all probability will be playing his last World Cup and might want to go out with a bang and another World Cup win to his name. He has changed his game a lot and has become an accumulator of runs rather than the six-hitting finisher that he was.
The no.6 and no.7 positions in the Indian team may very well be occupied by the two all-rounders Kedar Jadhav and Hardik Pandya.
Kedar Jadhav and Hardik Pandya might be expected to play the role of finishers with the bat, something that they have done before also. With the ball, they will form the fifth bowler, with Jadhav’s low arm spinners and Pandya with his fastish seam bowling. These two players also enable India to play two genuine spinners in the playing XI.
Those two genuine spinners are Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal and they are expected to bamboozle the batsmen as the two spinners. Kuldeep has picked 55 wickets in 24 matches and Chahal has picked 41 wickets in 21 matches in the last year.
While Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah are expected to be the two quick bowlers in the XI. Bhuvneshwar (23) and Bumrah (22) have picked a lower number of wickets, as they have been fielded selectively in the 50-over format of the game.
Along with this, Dinesh Karthik might be the 12th man, as he can fit into any batting position in the playing XI and might also be the wicketkeeping backup for MS Dhoni.
Possible Team India playing XI for 2019 World Cup:
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (C), Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (WK), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Dinesh Karthik (12th Man)