On Wednesday, India’s head coach Ravi Shastri stated that Indian team would have picked a 16-man squad for the upcoming ICC World Cup 2019 in England and Wales instead of the mandated 15 and the same was conveyed to the cricket's governing body. He also had a word of advice for Ambati Rayudu and Rishabh Pant who missed the bus to England.
At an event in Dubai, Shastri said, ”When you only have 15 to pick, there is bound to be someone or the other who misses out, which is very unfortunate. I would have preferred 16 players. We had mentioned to the ICC that in a tournament that long, 16 players makes sense. But the diktat was 15." He further added that he doesn't involve himself in the World Cup selection matters, but does provide inputs to the captain. "I don't get involved in selection. If we have any opinion, we let the captain known," he said.
On Monday, India's World Cup squad was announced by BCCI's selection committee in Mumbai where KL Rahul, Vijay Shankar, and Dinesh Karthik got the big nod, while Pant and Rayudu faced the axe. Shastri urged the latter two not be disheartened by the selection news. He said "They (who missed out) shouldn't lose heart. It's a funny game. There could be injuries. So you never know when you could be called up." However, the two players along with Navdeep Saini have been named as standby players for the World Cup 2019 on Wednesday.
When questioned about World Cup favorites, he rated England ahead of other teams. England has been the most consistent team over the last two years. The team has multi-dimensional players. They have depth in bowling and batting. And they are playing at home. So they would start as favorites."