Rishabh Pant, after a successful outing of Australia and New Zealand, looks certain to join the India squad for the forthcoming ICC World Cup 2019, to be played in England and Wales from 30 May to 14 July 2019. Ahead of the mega event, India will host Australia for five One-day Internationals and two T20 Internationals, starting on February 24. Team India's chairman of selectors MSK Prasad on Monday claimed that young wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant is in the contention list for the World Cup, adding that his phenomenal form has given him a "healthy headache".
"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 the reason we have included him in India A series wherever possible," ESPNcricinfo quoted Prasad, as saying.
The chief selector admitted that he used to think of Pant as a "thick-skinned person" but now he sees him as a mature player who has shown a lot of commitment to the team's cause.
Talking about Ajinkya Rahane, Prasad said that the middle order batsman has shown some good from in domestic cricket, and is definitely an option for the World Cup.
"In domestic cricket he has been in form," Prasad said.
"He is very much in contention for the World Cup."
Rahane has been quite impressive and consistent in List A cricket having scored 597 runs in 11 innings at an average of 74.62.
Prasad also talked highly about the skill set of right-hand batsman Vijay Shankar. The selector said that they need to figure out how well Shankar fits in the dynamics of the team.
"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 said.
(With ANI inputs)