Fast bowlers Deepak Chahar, Avesh Khan, Navdeep Saini and Khaleel Ahmed will assist the Indian team in their preparation for World Cup 2019, scheduled to begin in England on May 30.
The names of Saini and Khaleel came up during the meeting of selectors on Monday when they were brainstorming to finalise the 15-man India squad for the marquee event.
The selectors have named 3 pacers - Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami - in the squad. Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav have been selected to take care of the spin department during the showpiece event. The exclusion of young wicketkeeper-batsman Rishbah Pant from the squad left many surprised but chief selector MSK Prasad said they decided to include Dinesh Karthik in the 15-man squad because he is a better wicketkeeper than Pant.
The Indian team for the World Cup will be led by Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma is named as Kohli's deputy. As many as 7 players will play a World Cup for the first time.
Talking to media after picking the squad, MSK Prasad said the selectors have tried their best to chose a well-balanced squad. "In the team, we have the luxury of 7 bowlers. We have covered all the bases and this is one of the most balanced Indian sides for the World Cup," Prasad said. "Khaleel and Saini were discussed and they will be around. If the need arises, one of them will go to England," he said.
Saini, Khaleel, Avesh and Chahar are all currently playing in the IPL. Saini plays for Royal Challengers Bangalore and Khaleel plays for Sunrisers Hyderabad. Avesh is in Delhi Capitals and Chahar is an important part of defending champions Chennai Super Kings.
Indian team for the World Cup: Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Vijay Shankar, MS Dhoni (wicket-keeper), Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami.