BCCI India announced their Virat Kohli-led 15-member squad for the ICC World Cup, which is to be played in England from 30 April onwards. Karthik has returned to India’s World Cup squad after 12 years, while Rishabh Pant has been left out.
The squad was announced by the BCCI Acting Honorary Secretary Amitabh Choudhary in Mumbai, with Chairman of Selectors M.S.K. Prasad present on the dais.
While there were no major surprises in the 15, the inclusion of Dinesh Karthik was the notable factor.
While Karthik, 33, got the nod ahead of the 21-year-old Pant despite an indifferent IPL campaign with the Kolkata Knight Riders, veteran Dinesh Karthik pipped young turk Rishabh Pant for the second wicket-keeper’s slot.
Tamil Nadu all-rounder Vijay Shankar made it for his three-dimensional qualities.
On the occasion, Prasad stated Karthik was preferred over Pant due to his superior ‘keeping skills.
“Definitely a case where we debated (at) length. We all (agreed) that either Rishabh Pant or Dinesh Karthik will come in only when [Dhoni] is injured. In an important game, wicket keeping is also important. That’s the reason we went with Dinesh Karthik,” said Prasad.
Squad: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Vijay Shankar, Ravindra Jadeja, Hardik Pandya, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, KL Rahul, Dinesh Karthik.
There had been a lot of talk regarding the potential number four for India, a pain point that the team has been trying to resolve for quite a while now.
Vijay Shankar will now bat at two-drop, as revealed by chairman of selectors MSK Prasad. The reserve ‘keeper slot has gone to Karthik, while KL Rahul will be the back up opener.