WC squad to be out next Monday

New Delhi: The national selectors led by MSK Prasad will meet on April 15 in Mumbai to pick the squad for the 2019 World Cup in England, starting May 30. India are considered one of the favourites going into this edition of the World Cup. The cut-off date is April 23 and the selectors have been waiting to watch the performance of some of the players in the ongoing Indian Premier League considering that the position of the number four batsman and the fourth fast bowler is still up for grabs.

Speaking to IANS, a senior BCCI official said that the selectors wanted to wait a bit before finalising the squad and the ongoing IPL held them to take a look at some of the players who are in the radar to fill a couple of spots. “The selectors wanted to take it easy as they had time till April 23 to send in the squad for the World Cup. With the IPL on, it always helps to see how some of the boys are playing,” the official explained.

While most of the players pick themselves, Ambati Rayudu and Rishabh Pant are the two main contenders for the No.4 slot in the batting department. While Rayudu has flattered to deceive in this edition of the IPL, Pant has shown his brilliance in flashes. But his inability to finish games has been something that pundits have spoken about time and again in this IPL.

Vijay Shankar is another player who could be looked at as an option considering that he has been looking to bat up in the order for Sunrisers Hyderabad in this IPL.The fourth pacer’s slot is something that the selectors will be sweating over as someone like a Navdeep Saini has been very impressive in the IPL for Royal Challengers Bangalore. Skipper Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri’s input will definitely be asked for before a final decision is made.

‘Too big to turn down’
Given a choice between winning the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 or the Ashes, Chris Woakes, the England pacer, said he’d grab the opportunity to do the former. England have won every Ashes series at home since 2005. Woakes himself was part of the side that won the 2013 series. However, the 30-year-old believes the chance to lift the World Cup trophy at home doesn’t come around too often – and when it does, they have to make it count.

“If it was a matter of life or death and I had to choose one, it would probably be the World Cup,” Woakes told The Daily Mail. “Just because World Cups at home don’t come around too often and we’re not often in a position like this as a team.

“I’ve only played one home Test against Australia, in my debut series in 2013, but we won the Ashes that summer. To potentially lift the World Cup at Lord’s, the home of cricket — that doesn’t come around very often. The opportunity to do that is too big to turn down.” England begin their World Cup campaign against South Africa at The Oval on 30 May.

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