The Indian cricket team recently announced the 15-man squad for the upcoming men’s World Cup. However, in a cricket crazy nation like ours, we probably never needed a selection committee, as everyone considers themselves the best in the business. The five-member selection committee, including captain Virat Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri, made the announcement recently. While fans made their own predictions, a few former cricketers (and a current one) came up with lists of their own.
We compared whom these greats had in mind to the 15-member squad that the BCCI released today. It turned out that the likes of Sourav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag, Irfan Pathan and Sanjay Manjrekar were not too far off from their predictions. In fact, most of them got the majority of the list correct. The confusion arose only with Ambati Rayudu, who sadly was a part of several predictions but couldn’t make it to the official list.
Ganguly’s XI included: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Ambati Rayudu, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Kedar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Vijay Shankar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav.
Irfan, Sanjay and Sourav picked Rayudu as the second keeper while Sehwag had Rishabh Pant. Sanjay had both Rayudu and Pant on his list, but since Pant is the specialist among the two, he’d wear the big gloves. The BCCI selectors probably felt that Pant is a capable batsman, but his wicketkeeping abilities leave a lot to be desired. He also doesn’t have enough experience. Thus Dinesh Karthik got the edge when it came to the keepers. Unlike the official list, Karthik didn’t feature in the list of any of the experts.
While everyone agreed on Vijay Shankar making the cut, Sanjay left out the all-rounder. Meanwhile, Ravindra Jadeja featured on the official list and also on all the experts besides Sourav. Dada’s XI took into account the fast wickets in England and Wales, and therefore, had four specialist pacers and two spinners. He had five batters (including Rayudu), three all-rounders. MSD is the main keeper, while Rayudu will be the second.
Finally, coming to who got most of the team correct, it seems like Viru nailed most of the selection. The only change was Karthik in place of Pant. The World Cup starts of May 30 and India’s first match is on June 5, against South Africa.