MSK Prasad, chief of India’s selection panel, has said they have zeroed in on final 18 members for the upcoming ICC World Cup 2019.  The selectors, on Friday, announced Team India squad for the upcoming five-match ODI series against Australia which pretty much made clear the players who would be catching the flight for England this summer. While most of the names in the squad were very much expected, the selectors did spring a few surprises.

The firs and foremost was the omission of Dinesh Karthik who has been groomed as a finisher in the last one year or so.  In his place, highly-rated Rishabh Pant earned a recall to the team. Khaleel Ahmed and Ravindra Jadeja also faced the axe in addition to young Shubman Gill.  With the upcoming series against Australia being the last assignment for Team India, it looks all over for Karthik, Jadeja and Khaleel.

Dinesh Karthik (Credits: AP)

However, with MSK Prasad admitting that the selectors have not finalised the 15 men yet, the troika could still make it to the squad. Prasad also said that the BCCI would talk with the franchises to give the players some rest during the IPL which starts on March 23 and ends in the middle of May. It gives the players little time to recover for the World Cup that will start in May itself.

“We have shortlisted 18 players and we will rotate them during the World Cup. As far as workload management is concerned, it is yet to be worked out. There are discussions happening on that front and we will let you know,” said MSK Prasad.

When BCCI’s acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary was asked this question, he said:

“If your question suggests that the franchises will be wary of resting players, it is an issue we will deal with considering it’s a World Cup year. There have been views from franchises and I am not going into specifics.”

“And also considering the fact that all the franchises are Indian franchises, the interest of the country, of doing well at the highest international level, is paramount,” he added.

The series against Australia, meanwhile, will start with the T20I leg on February 24.