The MSK Prasad-led selection panel announced the 15-member Indian squad for the upcoming 2019 World Cup on April 15, Monday. The massive team selection decision which is an integral factor in the fate of the national team's fortunes at the quadrennial event, received mixed reactions from the fans and former cricketers. The most recent name in the list to put forth his opinion is Team India head coach Ravi Shastri.
I don't get involved in selection
During a recent event in Dubai, Shastri mentioned that he would have preferred 16 players to be picked in the World Cup squad. The Indian head coach made a startling revelation stating that he does not get involved in the selection processes. However, he did mention that he shares his inputs with the skipper.
"I don't get involved in selection. If we have any opinion, we let the captain known,” said Ravi Shastri.
Shastri noted that teams should be allowed to pick 16 players as the upcoming World Cup is a pretty long tournament. He stated that there was a discussion with the ICC regarding this appeal but it was put down. "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 added.
Shastri welcomes total flexibility
Shastri also talked about the selection of Vijay Shankar for the much-debated No.4 position. The former Indian cricketer revealed that the final decision about the batting order will be decided depending on the conditions and opposition. He noted that except the top three, all the other positions would support absolute flexibility.
“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. Total flexibility (on No. 4 position) depending on conditions, opposition. I would say the top three but after that you can be very flexible," Shastri inferred.
They have multi-dimensional players
The Indian head coach feels that hosts England will be starting the 50-overs tournament as the favourites. He reckoned that the English team has been the most consistent side over the last two years. Shastri also mentioned that the home team has many multi-dimensional players, great depth in the batting as well as bowling which in turn makes them one of the strong contenders to win the prestigious World Cup title.
"England have been the most consistent team over the last two years. They have multi-dimensional players. They have depth in bowling and batting. And they are playing at home. So they would start as favourites," the Indian head coach concluded.