India pick Karthik over Pant in CWC squad

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"That's the reason we went with Dinesh Karthik", after a brief selection meeting which also included Indian captain Virat Kohli at the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai on Monday afternoon.

England captain Eoin Morgan feels Pakistan are one of the strongest contenders for the upcoming ICC Men s Cricket World Cup 2019 that starts on 30 May.

The #4 slot in the squad is now open and the team can either opt to field an extra all-rounder like Vijay Shankar or play KL Rahul.

"It is definitely a case which we have debated at length". We all were in unison that either pant or DK will come in only when Mahi is injured.

Karthik, the oldest Indian player in terms of worldwide debut (three months before Mahendra Singh Dhoni in September 2004), was also part of the Indian squad during its disastrous 2007 World Cup campaign.

Shankar, with his "three-dimensional qualities", took the slot which was speculated to go to Ambati Rayudu before his dip in form in the home series against Australia last month.

"That is the only reason why we went ahead with DK otherwise Pant was nearly there", he added.

"We have been planning soon after the completion of the Champions Trophy (2017) for this".

"What Vijay Shankar offers is three dimensional", Prasad said. Another favourite for the No 4 spot is KL Rahul, who is back among runs, and could also end up as the middle-order choice. We are looking at Vijay Shankar as a number four batsman.

Rahul' selection could also mean bad news for Karthik and Pant.

The bowlers will be assisted by the wrist-spinning duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal while Kedar Jadhav is expected to roll his arm if required. We did give a few more chances to Rayudu. The national team will leave for London on April 23 to play one-off T20I and five ODIs against England ahead of the World Cup. They will bowl in the nets and also stay as a standby should there be an injury.

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