Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly has hand-picked his 15-member Indian squad for the 2019 ICC World Cup, which is set to begin from May 30 in England and Wales, where he feels that it's the attacking unit that can be the deciding factor for the Men in Blue in the coveted tournament.
“The Indian pace attack is fantastic. Whether its Bumrah or Shami, the Indian pacers are performing consistently. The pacers will play an important factor for the team in England,” said Ganguly.
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“The opening combination should not be tweaked. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan are the ideal pair to give India a fast start. But K L Rahul is also there,” he said.
“Shikhar and Rohit should open. Other than the two, Rahul is another batsman who can open.”
On the decision as to whether skipper Virat Kohli should move down to the No.4 batting position, Ganguly felt that he is in his usual spot.
“Virat is being Virat. He is on top of his game,” he said. “Virat should bat in his usual number 3 slot. Rayudu at 4, Dhoni at 5 and Kedar at number 6.”
“Ravindra Jadeja should not be in the World Cup team. Vijay Shankar bowled beautifully in the Nagpur match. I think Vijay deserves his World Cup spot,” he said.
Discussing the title contenders for this year's World Cup, other than India, Ganguly feels that nations such as West Indies, Sri Lanka and New Zealand are also in the mix.
“India are one of the favourites for sure. But West Indies, New Zealand, Sri Lanka are also there in the mix. Recently Sri Lanka have been in terrific form. They defeated South Africa. I think it will be a superb World Cup,” he said.
The former captain also believes that the return of banned duo Steve Smith and David Warner can 'change the entire complexion' of the Australian team.
“Australia may be going through a rough patch. But there is no doubt that the return of Smith and Warner will change the entire complexion of the team and with Maxwell already there, they will be a totally different outfit,” he said.
Here's Sourav Ganguly's India World Cup squad:
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Ambati Rayudu, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Vijay Shankar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav.