India put on a commendable performance in the fifth ODI to register a massive 4-1 series win against Australia on Sunday. Having won the series against Australia and New Zealand, the Men In Blue surely have ticked all the boxes going ahead at the World Cup, starting from 30th May 2019.
Before the commencement of the series against Australia and New Zealand, India had a lot of questions to be answered in a span of nine one-day Internationals. Who will be the ideal number four batsman? the third seamer, number five and six.
Come February, and the selectors are certainly sure of the squad which will tour to New Zealand.
Ambati Rayudu has put all the questions to rest regarding his pick at number four position. The right-handed batsman smashed the New Zealand bowlers to all parts of the grounds, helping his side win the final ODI with a match-winning knock of 90 runs off 113 deliveries. The Chennai Super Kings batsman has scored 190 runs in 5 matches at an average of 63.33.
India’s all-rounder Hardik Pandya made a roaring comeback after he got suspended for the Australian series and New Zealand’s three T-20 and Two Odi’s for his sexist comments in the ‘Koffee With Karan’ show. In the third ODI against New Zealand, Pandeya took a spectacular catch at mid-wicket, diving to his left to send Williamson packing for 28. He also proved lethal with the bowl, picking up two wickets for 45 runs in his ten overs. Come the fifth ODI, Hardik Pandya showed why he is regarded as India’s best all-rounder right now. He struck a stellar 22-ball 45-run inning to take the team’s total past 250-run mark in the end which never looked like reaching more than 220 at one stage. Pandya has shown time and again that he is a crucial part of the set-up and his cameo in the final ODI has certainly booked his place at number six position.
Questions have also been raised over Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s position in the side and that Rishabh Pant should be replaced in place of the former, owing to his patchy run in 2018. The fighter MS gave all his critics the ideal reply, becoming the man of the series in the Australia series with 193 runs at an average of 62.3. Dhoni perhaps didn’t get many chances to bat, owing to a hamstring injury in two Odis.
One player who has impressed the most since the year has begun is indeed Mohammed Shami. Mohammed Shami has been the standout bowler in the New Zealand tour. Being adjudged as Man of Match twice, picking up nine wickets in four matches at an average of 15. 33, there’s nothing more that could be asked from Shami. Mohammed Shami has also been awarded player of series, courtesy a spectacular performance in the tour.
Here’s India ideal squad for the World Cup 2019:
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli ©, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Ravindra Jadeja, Dinesh Kartik, Rishabh Pant/Hanuma Vihari.