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JUST IN: Sanjay Manjrekar reveals his 15-member squad for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019

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Sanjay Manjrekar revealed his 15-member squad wherein he opted for Rishabh Pant instead of Dinesh Karthik.

Former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar revealed his 15-member squad in Monday ahead of the ICC World Cup 2019. The list is more or less similar to the one that the selectors have opted against Australia except for Hardik Pandya and Ambati Rayudu. Manjrekar also picked Rishabh Pant over Dinesh Karthik as a second-option for wicket-keeper batsman, while Dhoni remains the foremost choice.

As for the top order, Manjrekar has kept it as it is without making too many changes. Rayudu however did not make it to his list for the middle order spot. Rayudu hasn’t quite had the numbers to show ever since his 90 against New Zealand. His scores of 13, 18 and 2 in the first three ODIs against Australia saw him being replaced by Kl Rahul for the rest of the matches. Manjrekar feels that spinners might be the reason behind his failure to perform on a consistent basis.

“The World Cup is in England, and even if it’s the white ball, it is not going to come in straight lines. This is where all these candidates worry me,” he wrote in his column in ESPNCricinfo. “After a good score, the way Rayudu gets bowled off a ball that has moved off the seam ruins all the good work he had done until then. That’s why I remain unconvinced by him.”

Manjrekar has picked all three all-rounders Vijay Shankar, Ravindra Jadeja and Hardik Pandya in his World Cup squad and retained the same bowling attack that played against Australia. Manjrekar however beileves that India’s middle order is still an unsolved puzzle and needs to be worked upon.

“And here’s something I believe: whatever team the selectors pick, India will go to this World Cup with a soft underbelly, which will be their middle order,” he said.

Sanjay Manjrekar’s 15-member World Cup squad for Team India : Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Vijay Shankar, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, MS Dhoni, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant.

Manjrekar also showered praise on Kohlifor his mastery in the game while going on to mention that Kohli could be the warranty card for India at the World Cup.

“Kohli is like a warranty card for India. When you watch him in 50-over cricket, can you slot him into a category of a defensive or an attacking batsman? No. He is just a champion batsman who wins games for his teams. When the team needs five runs an over, he will try to get five an over and not ten, like others around him seem to try,” he concluded. 

AUTHOR’S TAKE:

India is by far one of the strongest contenders for the ICC Cricket World Cup. The Virat Kohli led team have been proving themselves to be perfect in all the departments. A combination of Virat’s efficiency, MS Dhoni’s experience and the youngsters’ grit together could be lethal for any opposition team making the men in blue one of the hot favourites to lift the prestigious trophy on July 14.

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