Rishabh Pant, Vijay Shankar, Ajinkya Rahane in contention for World Cup, says chief selector MSK Prasad

Prasad said that virtually all spots have been locked in, barring "one odd" position and all – Rishabh Pant, Ajinkya Rahane and Vijay Shankar – are in contention.

FirstCricket Staff, Feb 11, 2019 13:06:32 IST

India's chief selector MSK Prasad has revealed that Rishabh Pant, Vijay Shankar and Ajinkya Rahane are in contention for a place in India's World Cup squad.

Prasad said that virtually all spots have been locked in, barring "one odd" position, in an interview with ESPNCricinfo.

The deadline to announce the 15-member squad for the World Cup in England and Wales is 23 April.

Rishabh Pant (L), Vijay Shankar (C) and Ajinkya Rahane are in contention for a berth in India's World Cup squad. AFP

Rishabh Pant (L), Vijay Shankar (C) and Ajinkya Rahane are in contention for a berth in India's World Cup squad. AFP

Wicketkeeper-batsman Pant, 21, who is considered the successor of MS Dhoni, has already displayed his skills in Test cricket. With a couple of away Test centuries, Pant's surge has been impressive.

Calling Pant's selection situation a 'healthy headache' to have, Prasad said, "The progression of Rishabh in the last one year is phenomenal across the formats. What we actually felt is he needs a bit of maturity now, gain more experience. That is the reason we have included him in India A series wherever possible."

While lauding Vijay Shankar, Prasad said the all-rounder provided a different dimension to the side.

Shankar, who batted at number three in recently-concluded T20I series against New Zealand, showed his aptitude with the bat but didn't get an opportunity with the ball.

In Sunday's four-run defeat in the series decider vs New Zealand, Shankar hit a 28-ball 43 showcasing his range of shots and ability to play the ball long.

"In whatever opportunities he has got, Vijay Shankar has shown the skillsets required at this level. We have been grooming him through India A tours in the last two years. But we will have to see where he can fit in the dynamics of this team," Prasad said.

Prasad further hinted that Ajinkya Rahane, who last played for India in an ODI in South Africa in February 2018, could be the third opener at the World Cup.

Rahane has been in decent form in List A cricket, scoring 597 runs in 11 innings at an average of 74.62. He has also hit two hundreds and three half-centuries.

India start their World Cup campaign against South Africa at The Rose Bowl in Southampton on 5 June.

Updated Date: Feb 11, 2019 13:06:32 IST







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