The stage is all set for a marvellous battle between the top 10 cricket sides of the world, to play for the most sought after trophy, The World Cup. England being the host nation and the country that has historically been instrumental in projecting and popularising cricket, has that aura like nowhere else. A World Cup final win on July 14, at the Mecca of cricket, "Lords", is what each team would be wishing for and would be remembered for years to come. The venue itself, with a well preserved museum and cricket artefacts brings forth a feeling of nostalgia among cricket lovers and followers of the game.
Each side is in the process of selecting their cricket warriors considering the skills and acumen required to not only beat their nine other rivals, but also to withstand the vagaries of the English weather. The climate change that the world is facing, has made it even more difficult to predict as to what one may encounter and therefore, selecting the right players could become a major factor for all the sides. A tricky situation, as sides will need to ensure that they have the right arsenal of quick bowlers and spinners in their fold to be able to counter either a hot, humid or a wet and dreary English day. The Indian cricket selectors, the wise-men of Indian cricket, are expected to announce the Indian team for the World Cup on Monday (April 15). The irony is that none of them have played International cricket in England or have been a part of a World Cup side.
India's most destructive weapon is their pace attack. Jaspreet Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Md. Shami are 3 of the top bowlers in world cricket and with Hardik Pandya and Vijay Shankar to assist them, on a typical cold and cloudy English day, Virat Kohli will have enough options. The second wicketkeeper as well as the number 4 batting spot is the only area of concern for selection. K.L. Rahul can be considered as a batsman and an optional wicketkeeper. My vote would go to Rishabh Pant, who is an extraordinary striker of the ball. His keeping will improve with experience, after all Dhoni was also not considered a great keeper during his early days.
There are many others such as Dinesh Karthik, Ambati Rayudu, Shubhman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Mayank Agarwal who are also in the fray. Unfortunately, only 15 players can be named for the World Cup. India has always been known to select one rank outsider into their squad.