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IPL won’t matter in WC selection

Hyderabad: India captain Virat Kohli said IPL performances will have “no influence” on the World Cup team selection, calling the speculation a “very, very radical analysis”.

With 12 to 13 slots already locked, India will be zeroing in on their last couple of slots for the World Cup, which starts on May 30 in the UK, after the upcoming ODI series against Australia.

 

“No, I do not see the IPL having any influence on the World Cup selection. I think that will be very, very radical sort of analysis,” the Indian captain said.

There were talks that the IPL could be a possible shootout between Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant for the second wicketkeeper’s slot but Kohli said that one good IPL won’t make much of a difference for any World Cup hopeful. “We need to have a solid team. Before we head into the IPL, we need to be absolutely clear of what team we want for the World Cup. I don’t see anything changing on how the IPL goes for any of the players. If one or two players do not have a good IPL season, it doesn’t mean that they are out of the picture for the World Cup. Those things are not going to matter,” Kohli set the record straight.

Kohli is keen to give Pant some game-time but certainly not at the cost of playing a bowler less, taking the field restrictions into account. “We will have to think about the combinations. I don’t think playing a bowler less is a good idea because with the extra fielder in till the 40th over, it becomes very difficult to get a few guys to chip in with a few overs. We will have to work out the batting combination to try and give game-time to the guys we want to. But, I don’t see the bowling combination changing,” the skipper said. The skipper also dropped a broad hint that KL Rahul, who seems to have regained some form, has made a very good case for himself for the World Cup squad. “Rahul, when he plays well, operates at a different level, I feel. We have seen him do that in the IPL last year,” he said.