Ishant Sharma last played an ODI game in 2016 (Image Credit: Twitter)
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) named a 15-member squad for the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup on Monday. The premier 50-over tournament will begin on May 30 and the final will be played on July 14. The ‘Men in Blue’ will play their first game against Proteas on June 5 at Rose Bowl, Southampton. The cricket fraternity around the world is hoping for India-England final at Lords, London.
The selection committee came up with a few surprises in the squad as they went with Vijay Shankar and Dinesh Karthik ahead of Rishabh Pant and Ambati Rayudu. However, the duo on Wednesday named among the standbys for India’s World Cup squad, reigniting their dashed hopes of making the trip to the UK in case an injury setback hits the side.
With International Cricket Council (ICC) only allowing 15 players to board the flight to England, the BCCI has named a few reserves players who can replace if any of the set players get injured during the course of the tournament. Even in the reserve list of players, BCCI has named a few surprises, including the likes of Ishant Sharma and Axar played who last featured in colored jersey in 2016 and 2017 respectively. Rishabh Pant, Ambati Rayudu, and Navdeep Saini are other three in the list.
"Ishant, Axar, Pant, Rayudu and Saini are aware that they have been named stand-by. The board has informed them about this and while four of them won't be travelling with the team like Saini, they have been asked to be ready to jump onto the plane whenever needed.
"We were looking at two batsmen, two pacers and a spinner when we decided to name the stand-by players. As you are aware, this year's format will see every team competing against every other team in the tournament and covering the bases is very important in such long format tournaments," the functionary explained.