Team India is on a roll in ODI cricket. After beating Australia in Australia and New Zealand in New Zealand, India has got most of its bases covered for the upcoming World Cup in England.
While the team management has identified most of the players who are going to take part in the mega event, there are still a few cricketers who are in the reckoning for making it to the Indian team.
Team India still has 5 ODIs against Australia at home to identify which players will be on the flight to England.
Here is a look at 4 such players who still are in the race to make it to the 2019 World Cup:
#1 Rishabh Pant
While the wicket-keeper batsman has made rapid strides in Test cricket and has become an indispensable part of the Test outfit, Rishabh Pant has represented India only in 2 ODIs. In the said ODIs, the youngster has scored just 41 runs at an average of 20.50 and a strike rate of 132.26.
Chief selector M.S.K. Prasad has recently indicated that Pant is very much a part of the ODI team and could be India's wildcard entry to the World Cup squad.
Pant played a match winning innings in the second T20 against New Zealand at Eden Park and scored 40 runs off just 28 runs at a strike rate of 142.86. The fact that Pant has the ability to dominate bowling attacks and score quick runs may go in his favour for him getting selected for the 2019 World Cup.
Pant has tasted success in Australia and England in Tests and with the ODI format more suited to his style of batting, the youngster will look to make the most of the opportunity of playing in the 5-match ODI series against Australia at home if he gets selected.
Pant definitely deserves to be a part of the Indian team for the World Cup considering the way he has adopted to international cricket in a short span of a year.
He will be competing for a place in the World Cup squad with the experienced Dinesh Karthik, who represented India in just 2 ODIs in the recently concluded 5-match ODI series against New Zealand. Karthik has been looked to play the role of a finisher in ODI cricket and has done reasonably well in the limited opportunities he has got in the last one year.
It will be interesting to see if the management prefers the youth and promise of Pant over the experienced Karthik. The 5-match ODI series against Australia will give a clear signal as to whether Pant will or will not be a part of the mega event.
#2 Vijay Shankar
The suspension of Hardik Pandya led to the inclusion of Vijay Shankar in the ODI team and he has grabbed the opportunity with both hands.
In the 5th ODI at Wellington, India were struggling at 18-4 when Shankar joined Rayudu at the crease and provided the much needed stability. He scored a composed 45 off 64 balls and led India to a respectable total which they subsequently defended. After that ODI, Indian coach Ravi Shastri praised Shankar for his temperament.
Shankar did not pick up a single wicket in the 4 ODIs he played in the last month (1 in Australia and 3 in New Zealand). However the wickets in England may just suit his kind of bowling and he could make it to the Indian team as a handy number eight batsman and a swing bowler who could bowl 7 to 8 overs.
Shankar should be a part of the team which plays Australia at home in a fortnight and good performances against the Aussies could lead to his inclusion in the World Cup squad.
#3 Khaleel Ahmed
Khaleel Ahmed is definitely in reckoning for the spot of the fourth fast bowler for India in the 2019 World Cup squad. Khaleel will look to join the trio of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami for the World Cup.
The fact that Khaleel is a left handed pace bowler goes in favour of him as the only missing link in India's pace tank is a left handed fast bowler.
In the 8 ODIs he has played for India, he has picked up 11 wickets at an average of 30.73, economy of 5.37 and a strike rate of 34.36.
The World Cup is a long event and Khaleel can be the perfect back up in case there is any injury to any of the premier pace bowlers. The 21-year-old pace bowler has had an impressive start to his cricket career and has the ability to pick up wickets at regular intervals.
While Khaleel is still young and in a learning phase, a place in the World Cup squad will be the perfect platform for the youngster to showcase his talent on the big stage.
#4 Krunal Pandya
Krunal Pandya is yet to make his debut in ODI cricket, but his impressive performances in T20Is may tempt the selectors for his inclusion in the ODI team in the home series against Australia and thereafter in the 2019 World Cup.
Pandya has been really impressive in the 8 T20Is he has played for India, especially with the ball and has won two Man of the Match awards for his heroics. He has picked up 10 wickets in 32 overs in T20Is at an average of 26 and an impressive strike rate of 19.20.
He has not got many opportunities with the bat in international cricket but he can play the aggressive innings as and when required.
He will be competing with Ravindra Jadeja for the spin bowling all-rounder slot. Jadeja did not play a single ODI in New Zealand and in the ODI series against Australia, he picked up only 2 wickets in 29 overs at an average of 75 and strike rate of 87.
With the bat too, Jadeja has not lived up to the expectations in ODI cricket recently and in his last 5 ODI innings, he has scored only 76 runs.
Krunal really has an outside chance of making it to India's team for the 2019 World Cup considering his current form and ability to lead India to victories.