MSK Prasad-led selection panel, on Monday, announced Team India’s 15-man squad for the upcoming  2019 Cricket World Cup. While most of the players in the squad were very much on the expected line, there were some surprising selection. The biggest of them was the omission of Rishabh Pant who is widely regarded as MS Dhoni’s replacement. However, the selectors instead picked up Dinesh Karthik.

Pant has been one of India’s most impressive performers since making his Test debut in England last year. After finishing the last season of the IPL as the second highest run-scorer, he had hit the ground in Test arena, scoring a sensational century at The Oval against England. On the historic tour of Australia, he was the second highest run-scorer. But perhaps the failure to impress in white-ball cricket especially the last two ODIs against Australia last month cost him the World Cup squad.

Rishabh Pant (Credits: Getty)

MSK Prasad later cleared the air on the decision. The former India wicketkeeper made it clear that the selectors went for wicketkeeping skills and this named Dinesh Karthik as the backup ‘keeper.

“Pant was nearly there. But wicket-keeping is also important. That’s why we went with Dinesh Karthik,” MSK Prasad said.

Credits: Twitter

India, meanwhile,  begin their World Cup campaign against South Africa in Southampton on June 5. India’s next match will be against defending champions Australia at Kennington Oval, London before they take on New Zealand in Nottingham 4 days later. The Men in Blue then play the high-profile clash against Pakistan on June 16 in Manchester before returning to Southampton to play Afghanistan on June 22. India will conclude the group stage by playing West Indies (June 27). Bangladesh (July 2) and Sri Lanka (July 6).

Here is India’s squad:

Virat Kohli (Capt), Rohit Sharma (vc), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Vijay Shankar, MSD (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohd Shami