The much-awaited World Cup action will begin 5 June in England for Team India and thanks to its recent form, India is tipped as one of the favourites to lift the trophy.
A week ago, the BCCI selectors named a 15-member squad that will be led by Virat Kohli. There were a couple of surprises: Dinesh Karthik was picked as reserve wicket-keeper ahead of in-form, young Rishabh Pant, and all-rounder Vijay Shankar was given the nod instead of Ambati Rayudu.
Cricket-lovers across the nation are pinning their hopes that these players would return home with the trophy. However, a closer look at the performance of a few in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) has worried many.
ROHIT SHARMA (MUMBAI INDIANS)
A swashbuckling opener with three double tons to his credit in ODIs, Rohit Sharma has had a dismal IPL tournament so far. The skipper of Mumbai Indians, in the nine matches he has played this season, he has scored a paltry 228 runs. His highest score is 48. Expectations are high about him as he is expected to be the mainstay in the Indian batting line-up. Pundits say that a champion player like him will prove his worth in big matches.
KEDHAR JADHAV (CHENNAI SUPER KINGS)
A gritty all-rounder, Jadhav has played a few handy innings before for Team India and his franchise Chennai Super Kings (CSK). Remember, his contribution in spite of a hamstring injury against Mumbai Indians in the 2018 edition of IPL helped his team emerge winner. However, he has had a quiet IPL so far. In 11 matches, he has scored 156 runs with just one half-century to his credit at an average of 22. Known for his uncanny nature of delivering the ball when he bowls, Kedhar Jadhav did not roll his arms so far for CSK this year. A much better show will give him confidence going to England.
VIJAY SHANKAR (SUNRISERS HYDERABAD)
Considered a 3D (three dimensional) player by selectors for his batting, bowling and fielding skills, Vijay Shankar was a surprise pick for the World Cup. He played very few matches for Team India and knocked a few runs. He can bowl at a decent pace, too. Much was expected from him in this edition of IPL in Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). He did get some good starts, but threw his wicket away with rash shots. In 10 matches, he managed just 156 runs with a top score of just 40. He also bowled in only four matches, picking up just a solitary wicket.
DINESH KARTHIK (KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS)
Though he has been in the game for some years, Dinesh Karthik’s incredible knock in the finals of Nidhahas Trophy turned the arc lights on him. The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) skipper pipped Pant to find a place in the World Cup squad and the selectors said his solid wicket-keeping skills turned it in his favour. DK, who had a fantastic 2018 IPL tournament, failed miserably this year. Even some of his decisions on field as captain were questioned. In nine innings so far, he made 117 runs that include one half-century, at a poor average of 16.71,
KULDEEP YADAV (KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS)
The talismanic spinner, who surprised batsmen across the world with his variations, is a potent weapon for Team India this World Cup. Unfortunately, he has so far had a poor outing in IPL this year. He was clobbered for runs and picked up very few wickets. In nine matches, he scalped just four wickets at an economy rate of 8.6 per over. His form was so bad that Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) chose to drop him during their last game against SRH. It is time Kuldeep rediscovered his form and made sure that he was at his best.