New Delhi: Raj Kumar Sharma, the childhood coach of Indian skipper Virat Kohli, on Sunday said that Indian Premier League (IPL) performances should not affect the final squad of the Indian team for the World Cup.
“IPL performance should not be the parameter to select the 15 players for the World Cup. IPL and World Cup are completely different formats. I agree with the chairman of selectors, MSK Prasad that IPL performances should not affect the squad of 15 for the World Cup,” Sharma told ANI.
The Men in Blue have the biggest conundrum of selecting number four batsmen in the final squad of fifteen. The team has been struggling to give one player a consistent run at the number four position. Sharma believes that either KL Rahul or Ambati Rayudu should make the cut to the final fifteen and one of these players will start in the playing XI.
“As far as number four batting position is concerned, I think KL Rahul and Ambati Rayudu will make the squad of fifteen and one of these players will make the playing XI in the World Cup and the other one will be kept as a reserve,” Sharma said.
The childhood coach of Kohli believes that it will be pitch conditions which will finally decide the squad of the Indian team and the conditions will decide the combination of the Indian playing XI in the respective matches.
“The squad of fifteen will eventually depend upon the pitch conditions that exist in England. If the wicket is seaming, the team can opt to play two seamers and two all-rounders. Vijay Shankar and Hardik Pandya can play together as the all-rounders,” Sharma said.
Sharma said that he is most worried about whether Indian all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja would find a place for himself in the squad of fifteen.
“The major concern for me is whether Ravindra Rajdeja will get a place in the final fifteen. I think Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal will both the make final fifteen and these two can play together if the wickets end up being on the drier side in England,” Sharma said.
Kohli, who is currently leading Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the IPL, took his team to their first win on Saturday against Kings XI Punjab. But his childhood coach believes that the player’s captaincy in IPL and for India should not be compared.
“I have always maintained my opinion that Kohli’s RCB captaincy should not be compared to his Indian captaincy. I don’t take IPL very seriously, where the Indian captaincy is concerned his record speaks for itself and I hope he brings back the World Cup trophy this time around,” Sharma said.
Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will announce the squad of fifteen players for the World Cup on April 15.
India takes on South Africa in their opening match of the World Cup on June 5.