India Announces Final Fifteen To Defend World Cup Title

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The first World Cup tournament was played in 1975, but India took another eight years to herald the champion’s title. It was Kapil Dev who led India to its biggest title ever in 1983 by beating West Indies in the final. India had to wait for another 28 years to kiss the World Cup again. The opportunity came in 2011 when India outplayed Sri Lanka and grabbed the title once again. Back then, India had Sachin Tendulkar, Virendra Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Aashish Nehra, Gautam Gambhir and Zaheer Khan, who played their parts in the World Cup victory. As we are going to witness another World Cup in less than 40 days, it’s time to have a look at the final list of players, who will defend India’s WC title in Australia.

Who’s in, who’s out:

India had already announced its thirty probable for the WC some time back and made clear that none of the above-mentioned players were on the list. It’s time to look forward, they had said. With this point in mind, today, selectors set and ruled out 15 players from the list to select the final squad for the WC. Here are the names of players who will fly to Australia and defend the title:

Wicket Keeper: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (C)

Batsmen: Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Ambati Raydu

Bowlers: Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav

All Rounder: Stuart Binny, Ravindra Jadeja, Suresh Raina

Ravindra Jadeja injured himself in Australia and had to fly to India instantly in the middle of the series; this had raised the question as to whether he would be available for the WC or not. There were rumors that Yuvraj could make his way into the team if Jadeja failed to do so, but selectors ended hope carried by the Yuvraj fans.

It looks like a decent combination of specialist batsmen, fast bowlers, spinners, and all-rounders. From the current selection, it seems that Shikhar Dhawan will open the batting for India along with Rohit Sharma or Ajinkya Rahane. Virat Kohli, Raina, and Dhoni will strengthen the middle order. India will play with one all-rounder on Australian soil; either Binny or Jadeja will make it to the final eleven. Raina and Rohit can bowl spin, so, chances are more that Binny will be preferred over Jadeja.

When it comes to the bowling department, India will most probably go with four bowlers, which makes it certain that Ashwin will head the spin department, while Ishant Sharma will get a place in the eleven due to his past experience. The final battle will happen between Umesh Yadav and Mohd. Shami. India is likely to play with three fast bowlers, one specialist spinner, one all-rounder and six specialist batsmen to defend this year’s WC title.

Bhupendra Sharma

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