Dinesh Karthik has been given preference over Rishabh Pant as the second wicketkeeper while KL Rahul and Vijay Shankar have also made the cut in what would be their first World Cup appearance.
On dropping Pant, chief selector MSK Prasad said: “Definitely a case where we debated in length. We all were in unison that either Pant or DK will come in only when Mahi is injured. In an important game wicket keeping is also important. That’s the reason we went with Dinesh Karthik.”
Prasad also added that Rahul will be reserve opener and if need arises the team management will take a call on him playing in the middle-order.
The number four batting position was the biggest talking point before the announcement and the selectors shown faith on Shankar after trying few players for the spot.
“After the Champions Trophy, we tried quite a few people at No.4. We gave a few more chances to Rayudu. What Vijay Shankar brings is three dimensional. We are looking at him at no. 4 to begin with,” MSK Prasad said during the press conference.
India will take on South Africa at The Rose Bowl in Southampton to open their campaign on June 6.
The much-awaited India vs Pakistan encounter is scheduled for June 16 at the Old Trafford in Manchester.
The two-time World Cup winners clinched their first title under Kapil Dev’s captaincy in 1983. MS Dhoni & Co then ended India’s 28-year wait for another world cup trophy by winning it at home in 2011.
FULL SQUAD: Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma (vc), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Vijay Shankar, MS Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Shami