India's wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant will have to wait four more years to make his debut at the 50-over World Cup if one is to believe veteran Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh. The 'Turbanator', who was part of India's World Cup-winning squad in 2011, has left out Rishabh from his 15-man World cup squad.
Rishabh, who many think will be MS Dhoni's successor once the current keeper-batsman calls it time on his limited-overs career, had a memorable outing against Australia in the Test series, where he scored 350 runs at an average over 55. He was also included in the T20I series against New Zealand and managed scores of 4, 40 and 28 in the three-match contest that India lost 1-2.
Harbhajan not including Rishabh in his World Cup squad could stem from the fact that the Delhi player was dropped from the ODI squad for the series against Australia and New Zealand. Rishabh, though, could be seen in action during India's 5-match ODI series against Australia at home next month.
Harbhajan's team for the World Cup in England includes all the major and expected names as well as Umesh Yadav and Vijay Shankar. Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja is also a probable inclusion.
"If you remember, during the 2017 Champions Trophy, the weather in the UK was hot and humid. So, if conditions are same, Jadeja could still be used as a package, if the opposition team has five to six right-handers in their line-up. Play him as No.6 with Hardik Pandya as No.7. Also, he is still your best fielder," Harbhajan told PTI during an interview.
Harbhajan feels Umesh should get a chance to prove himself at the World Cup after his heroics with the ball during Vidarbha's Ranji triumph. Umesh took 24 wickets in the four matches he played this season.
Harbhajan's 15-man squad for the 2019 World Cup:
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Dinesh Karthik, Umesh Yadav and Vijay Shankar. Probable: Ravindra Jadeja.