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ICC World Cup 2019: Team analysis: India: Balanced squad but cracks persist underneath

India are one of the favourites to go all the way in the ICC World Cup 2019

Bengaluru, May 20: The ICC World Cup 2019 will begin in England from May 30 but India will open their campaign on June 5 at Southampton against South Africa. The two-time champions are one of the favourites to go all the way in the tournament. Here MyKhel is taking a closer look at the strengths and weakness of India, to be led by Virat Kohli, in the run-up to the big bash.

1. Strength

1. Strength

On the paper, India have a balanced team. They have a settled opening pair in Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma and in Kohli they have the best batsman in the world. Hardik Pandya offers them a solid all-rounder option with his hard-hitting batting and useful medium pace. With Kedar Jadhav, notwithstanding his poor form in IPL 2019, getting declared fit for the World Cup, India have another all-round option along with Ravindra Jadeja. However, India's bowling too is quite handy with Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar leading the attack and Mohammed Shami offers a capable third pacer option as well.

2. Weakness

2. Weakness

They don't have a settled name for No 4 with Vijay Shankar being the front-runner and they may also mull dropping Kohli to No 4 and place KL Rahul at No 3. Or they may even think of playing Dhoni in that slot with Vijay coming in at No 5. In short, India are looking for a horses for courses policy and that touch of indecisiveness may backfire. Then players like Kedar and Dhoni had niggles during the IPL and the management will be hoping for a smooth tournament for them, especially Dhoni who is invaluable in shorter formats.

3. Key man No 1 - Virat Kohli

3. Key man No 1 - Virat Kohli

The Indian captain is batting in a different realm to others at present. From 227 ODIs, Kohli has made 10843 runs at 59.58 with 41 hundreds and 49 fifties. It is otherworldly stuff. During the tour of England in 2018, Kohli made truckload of runs and tamed his old foe James Anderson. Kohli will have to reproduce his run-making ways this time too and there is nothing to suggest that Kohli will not able to do that.

4. Key man No 2 - Jasprit Bumrah

4. Key man No 2 - Jasprit Bumrah

Bumrah is to India's bowling what Kohli is to the batting. When he walked off clutching the shoulder during the early part of the IPL, the entire nation prayed for his health and quick return. India depend on him for everything. Dry runs - Bumrah. Take wickets - Bumrah. Bowl in the power plays - Bumrah. Bowl at the death - Bumrah. He is the engine that drives India's bowling and he will have to put in a serious effort in England.

5. Prediction

5. Prediction

India will face South Africa in their tournament opener on June 5 but since it is an all-play-all format, Kohli and his band needs to be at their best in every match. Even the slightest of slip up may cost them dear. But they have it in them to reach at least till the last four stage, unless some really poor cricket.

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Story first published: Monday, May 20, 2019, 15:39 [IST]
Other articles published on May 20, 2019
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