The Australian cricket team’s upcoming tour to India is the last international tournament that the Men-in-Blue are going to play ahead of the ICC World Cup 2019. And this tour will be the perfect opportunity for selectors to test India’s bench strength by resting key players.
While finalising the Indian squad, selectors also need to think about managing the workload of key pacers to keep them fresh for the World Cup. India’s spin twin Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal should be given rest at some point during the series.
The upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2019) will also be played before the World Cup and if any key member of India’s WC squad gets injured, it would jeopardise the Men-in-Blue’s chances in the World Cup.
Though head coach Ravi Shastri has said BCCI will keep a track of workload on Indian players, there is no confirmation if key members of the team would be rested from the entire tournament or from a few stages of the cash-rich league. Unlike BCCI, England and Australia Cricket Board have already made it clear that they would recall their key players from IPL a few weeks before the World Cup.
Here is the perfect Indian squad for the upcoming series:
Indian skipper Virat Kohli, who was rested from just concluded T20I series against New Zealand, should be recalled for Australia tour if BCCI decides to rest senior players.
Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul
Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan should be given a few more chances to get his form back ahead of the World Cup. KL Rahul, who has had a horrendous seven months in international cricket, can be recalled to Team India and given a chance to open with Dhawan.
The promising young wicket-keeper batsman should be given a chance in the upcoming series. And if Indian selectors want to play Dhoni as their first choice wicket-keeper, Pant can play as a specialist batsman for India.
India’s Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane should also be given a chance to prove his worth ahead of the World Cup.
Vikay Shankar and Hardik Pandya
Vijay Shankar should be included in the Indian squad as a back-up option for fast-bowling all-rounder Hardik Pandya. Hardik would most likely be a part India’s World Cup squad and he needs to play the upcoming series as he already missed Australia and New Zealand tours due to the ban on him.
If MS Dhoni is going to be a part of the World Cup squad, he should be given some practice matches to get his groove back before the mega tournament.
Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik
If Rayudu has been picked for India’s number four position, he should get as many games as possible to get prepared for the World Cup. Kedar Jadhav and Dinesh Karthik could also be included in the Indian squad for the upcoming series against Australia.
Jasprit Bumrah, Buvneshkwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami, Khaleel Ahmed, Jaydev Unadkat
Star Indian pacer Jasprit Bumrah, who was rested after Test series against Australia, can be recalled too. Bhuvneshwar Kumar could be given a few more games to get his form back and Mohammed Shami can be rested. Khaleel Ahmed can be given a few more games while Jaydev Unadkat can be included as a backup option.
Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal
Ravindra Jadeja is another option for all-rounder for Team India. Jadeja could be included in the squad if BCCI decided to rest Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal for a few games.