Sunday, September 26, 2021

India look to sort out final spots against Australia in last series before World Cup

HYDERABAD, March 1: The Indian cricket team will continue its experiments to figure out the final pieces of a jigsaw puzzle called the ‘World Cup squad’ when a five-match ODI series against Australia starts on Saturday.
The team is slowly moving into the World Cup mode and even a 0-2 loss in the just-concluded T20I series won’t see any shift in plans as far as skipper Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri are concerned.
“Every team will look to fine-tune whatever they need to before the World Cup, and we’ll keep doing that in the ODI series too, but we still want to win every match we play,” skipper Kohli said after the Bengaluru T20I loss headlining his intention.
There will be at least four players for whom the series will be like a ‘pre-test’, a good score ensuring that they get ‘admit cards’ for the board exams.
The four players in question are KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, Vijay Shankar and Siddarth Kaul, who are fighting for two available slots in that UK bound 15-member squad.
One man who will be keenly tracking the developments from the sidelines will be Dinesh Karthik, who still, many believe, has an outside chance of making it to the team.
However, for the quartet of Rahul, Pant, Shankar and Kaul, the coming five matches will be an acid test as and when they are inducted into the playing XI.
Rahul should be in a good head space after scores of 50 and 47 in the two T20I and is expected to get a few more chances at the top of the order. (PTI)