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Ajinkya Rahane, Vijay Shankar in World Cup plans, says chief selector MSK Prasad

India Today logo India Today 11-02-2019 India Today Web Desk

© Getty India's chairman of selectors MSK Prasad has revealed that along with Rishabh Pant, Vijay Shankar and Ajinkya Rahane were also in contention for a place in the 2019 ICC World Cup squad. The deadline to announce the 15-member squad for the World Cup in England and Wales is April 23.

Pant, who is tipped to succeed MS Dhoni behind stumps once the legendary wicketkeeper-batsman retires, has already impressed with his skills in Test cricket. In handful of Test matches that he has played, Pant has smashed a couple of centuries and also created a record by an Indian wicketkeeper in Australia. More importantly, both his hundreds have come in overseas conditions -- England and Australia.

Vijay Shankar, though, is yet to impress with his bowling but has performed reasonably well with the bat. Recently, he was promoted to bat at No.3 in couple of matches in the T20I series in New Zealand and he proved his worth with the bat.

In Sunday's four-run defeat in the series decider vs New Zealand, Shankar hit a 28-ball 43 and also showcased his big-hitting prowess.

"In whatever opportunities he has got, Vijay Shankar has shown the skillsets required at this level. We have been grooming him through India A tours in the last two years. But we will have to see where he can fit in the dynamics of this team," Prasad told ESPNCricinfo.

Prasad further hinted that Ajinkya Rahane, who last played for India in an ODI in South Africa in February last year, could be India's third opener at the World Cup.

Rahane has been in decent form in List A cricket, scoring 597 runs in 11 innings at an average of 74.62. He has also hit two hundreds and three half-centuries.

"In domestic cricket he [Rahane] has been in form. He is very much in contention for the World Cup," Prasad said.

Prasad once again said that wicketkeeper Pant remained in contention for a berth.

"Undoubtedly he [Pant] is in contention. A healthy headache. The progression of Rishabh in the last one year is phenomenal across the formats. What we actually felt is he needs a bit of maturity now, gain more experience. That is reason we have included him in India A series wherever possible," he said.

India start their World Cup campaign against South Africa at The Rose Bowl in Southampton on June 5.

Also see: Top moments from India vs New Zealand 3rd T20

(Provided by Indian Express)

Also watch: Rohit Sharma becomes top run-getter in T20Is

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(Provided by The Times of India)

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