As India head into limited overs phase against Australia and NZ, vice-captain Rohit Sharma says team line-up looks settled for World Cup in England!
Vice-captain Rohit Sharma yesterday said that India’s World Cup squad is more or less settled but nobody should take his place for granted as poor form could lead to omissions. He said that there could be one or two changes in the squad that will take on Australia and New Zealand in the upcoming limited overs series, depending on poor form and injuries.
13 ODIs coming up
“The squad that plays these 13 ODIs (five in Australia, three in NZ, five at home v Australia) is more or less the same squad that will go to the World Cup. There will be one or two changes, keeping in mind form and injury concerns over the next few months,” Rohit said ahead of India’s first ODI against Australia here on Saturday. “We played a lot of cricket throughout the year, so injuries are bound to happen. And there will be some concerns about form and fitness.”
Talking about the slots in the playing XI, he said, “More or less, the slots are pretty much taken but everything will depend on form. Nobody is guaranteed that flight to England. I won’t say that every individual who is part of the next few series will play the World Cup. You have to perform. But there won’t be drastic changes,” said the stylish top-order batsman. The World Cup begins in England on May 30.
India last played ODIs in Australia in 2016, and lost the five-match series 1-4. Their top-order of Rohit, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli excelled then, but the middle order did not support them. Rohit was confident that those shortcomings have been overcome in preparation for the World Cup. “It’s not about one or two individuals, it’s about 11 of us contributing. Individuals may win one or two games but to win the championship, the batting unit must come together. There will be times when the top-order fails and the middle-order has to take the responsibility. I think they have done that in the last series we played, in the Asia Cup, and also against the West Indies in India.”
Oz pacers missing
Australia will be missing the services of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins in the ODIs but Rohit said, like in 2016, the hosts still have good bowlers to pose problems. “These three don’t play too much ODI cricket. The last time we came here, none of them played and we were still beaten 1-4, so they still have quality in their attack. We have to grind it out there, face the challenge and put them under pressure.”
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