Young wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant and veteran batsman Ambati Rayudu were named among the standbys in India’s squad for the World Cup, reigniting their dashed hopes of making the trip to the UK in case an injury setback hits the side. Speedster Navdeep Saini also found a place in the list of three backups for the mega event that starts on May 30. Pant and Rayudu’s exclusion from the squad of 15 created quite a stir. While Sunil Gavaskar called Pant’s omission surprising, the snub to Rayudu was questioned by Gautam Gambhir.
With the ICC doing away with the practice of letting countries announce a probables’ list before the final squad, the BCCI also has the option of including anyone apart from these three but it is unlikely to happen. “Just like the ICC Champions Trophy, we have three standbys. Rishabh Pant and Ambati Rayudu are the first and second standbys while Saini is the bowler in the list. So if anyone gets injured, as per requirement, one of the three will be going,” a senior BCCI official said.
While Khaleel Ahmed, Avesh Khan and Deepak Chahar will be travelling with the team purely as net bowlers, they can also be drafted in if the management feels so. “Khaleel, Avesh and Deepak are not designated standbys. In case of bowlers, that possibility is there but when it comes purely to batsmen, it will be either Rishabh or Rayudu,” the official said.
In other developments, there will be no Yo-Yo Test for the World Cup-bound players as the IPL is going to end only on May 12, just a few days before India head to the UK. India are scheduled to play their opening World Cup match on June 5 against South Africa in Southampton. “The players are already in the middle of a gruelling T20 season. Once the IPL ends, they will need recovery time. It’s not like that there is a gap between two series and you are having a test. If you are tired, the results may vary,” the official explained.