Fri, 21 Jun 2019

CWC 2019 team profile: India

News24
17 May 2019, 22:12 GMT+10

Cape Town - The 2019 Cricket World Cup gets under way on Thursday, May 30 when the Proteas take on England at The Oval in London.

With the squads all confirmed and the IPL now a thing of the past, attention will move swiftly to the World Cup and South Africa's efforts to finally taste success in a tournament that has haunted them for decades.

Sport24 will be bringing you all of the news you need to know before and during the showpiece.

Over the next two weeks, we will be profiling all 10 of the sides competing, highlighting their chances at the competition and players to look out for.

2019 CWC team profile: AFGHANISTAN

2019 CWC team profile: AUSTRALIA

2019 CWC team profile: BANGLADESH

2019 CWC team profile: ENGLAND

We'll be providing one team preview every day, moving along in alphabetical order.

Next up, we have India.

INDIA

Overview

India has always been a massive player at the World Cup, and this year will be no different. The two-time champions enter this year as strong as ever under the leadership of esteemed and charismatic skipper Virat Kohli. Their batting is a major strength, but they have so many options in their bowling attack too. Kohli will lead, but the experience of MS Dhoni, who plays in his 4th World Cup, will be key.

Squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Vijay Shankar, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammad Shami

Coach: Ravi Shastri

Bookies prediction: Runner-up

Best WC finish: Champions - 1983, 2011

Batsman to watch

You don't have to look any further than Kohli to understand why India are rated so highly. He is a 'one in a generation' player and can carve any attack in the world to pieces on his day. India do have other destructive players - Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul included - but Kohli, ranked No 1 in the world, is undoubtedly the ring leader and if he comes off at the tournament then India have good reason to fancy their chances. The other thing that stands out about the skipper is that he tends to deliver when it matters most and offers a level of 'BMT' that goes a long, long way at a World Cup.

Bowler to watch

Jasprit Bumrah will be India's major weapon with the ball. He is fast, deadly accurate and also possesses a variety of skills that make him lethal with the new ball and at the death. His ability to deliver inch-perfect yorkers means that he is extremely difficult to get away, particularly at the back-end of an innings, and that is where he picks up the bulk of his wickets. Like Kohli, Bumrah is ranked No 1 in the world currently. 2019 is expected to be a high-scoring World Cup, so having bowlers like Bumrah who can pick up wickets at key times is imperative.

Realistic expectation

The expectation out of cricket-mad India is always the same. Like tournament favourites England, they will be expected to be crowned champions and any other return will not be considered good enough. Kohli has always had incredibly high standards, too, and he will know better that level of expectation better than anyone. It is difficult to see India missing out on the semi-finals - they simply have too much quality.

Fixtures

June 5 v South Africa (Southampton)

June 9 v Australia (The Oval)

June 13 v New Zealand (Nottingham)

June 16 v Pakistan (Manchester)

June 22 v Afghanistan (Southampton)

June 27 v West Indies (Manchester)

June 30 v England (Edgbaston)

July 2 v Bangladesh (Edgbaston)

July 6 v Sri Lanka (Leeds)

Twitter: @BCCI

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