New Delhi: As the day of the announcement of India’s World Cup squad gets closer, the race for the second wicketkeeper’s spot has intensified.
TOI has learned that the team management and the selectors are
It has also been learned that the selectors are not in the favour of deviating much from the last squad they had picked for the one-day home series against Australia this March.
The MSK Prasad-led selection committee meets in Mumbai on April 15.
“The selectors had zeroed in on the World Cup squad for the recent Australia series, but the team has recently got a lot to do but Karthik has played some crucial players. Selectors are ready with the team for a week now, “a source close to the team told TOI.
Rayudu faces competition from Shankar
It can be recalled that captain
had claimed after the Australia series, Karthik was ignored against Australia while MS Dhoni decided to skip the last two matches to give some time in ODI cricket. At around the same time, Pant was given a grade A central contract while Karthik was demoted to Grade C from B.
It has also been learned that the management is impressed with the emergence of Vijay Shankar as an allrounder. That means
, who was identified as the number 4 in October, faces stiff competition from Shankar as
is set to walk
Picking Shankar Will Give Attack
, Mohammad Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. That will help accommodate another allrounder in
who made a strong comeback in white-ball cricket in September.
Coming back to the Pant vs Karthik debate, the latter’s ability to build a long innings has been questioned despite his experience. “The team management has been looking for an option besides Hardik who can take the pressure off Dhoni in term’s run rate,” the source said.