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World Cup 2015: All you want to know about Team India

REUTERS
Published Feb 6, 2015, 5:58 pm IST
Updated Mar 29, 2019, 9:02 pm IST
Virat Kohli and R. Ashwin would be India's key players going into the World Cup
T2O World Championship, ICC World Cup, ICC Champions Trophy, the MS Dhoni-led Team India has won it all. But an encore of the 2011 World Cup triumph would be a greatest gift for the Indian fans. (Photo: AFP/ File)
 T2O World Championship, ICC World Cup, ICC Champions Trophy, the MS Dhoni-led Team India has won it all. But an encore of the 2011 World Cup triumph would be a greatest gift for the Indian fans. (Photo: AFP/ File)

Mumbai: Factbox on the India squad for the 2015 cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Captain: Mahendra Singh Dhoni

 

The 33-year-old stumper-batsman is India's most successful captain, having led the team to the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup triumph in 2007 and the 50-over World Cup four years later. A hard-hitting batsman with a penchant to seal victory with a six, Dhoni's phlegmatic-yet-unconventional captaincy will be key to India's title defence.

Squad: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Virat Kohli (vice-captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Stuart Binny, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Ambati Rayudu, Akshar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma.

 

Watch: Team India unveils new ODI jersey for World Cup

Key batsman: Virat Kohli 26, right-handed bat. 150 matches. 6,232 runs. Highest score 183.

The 26-year-old right-hander from Delhi has emerged as one of the most improved batsmen in contemporary cricket. An elegant stroke-player with a wide range of shots, Kohli's consistency and a 90-plus strike rate in One Day Internationals make him a dangerous batsman.

A natural leader and an agile fielder, Kohli thrives under pressure and enhanced his batting reputation in the recent four-test series against Australia even though India lost 2-0.

 

Key Bowler: Ravichandran Ashwin 28. Right-arm off-spinner, right-handed batsman. 88 matches. 120 wickets. Best bowling 3-24.

The lanky 26-year-old off-spinner from Chennai may not be the biggest turner of the ball but possesses enough variety, including a carrom ball which he flicks with his long fingers, and control to trouble most batsmen in 50-over cricket.

An extremely smart bowler who can stifle a batsman with his accuracy, Ashwin is also a handy lower order batsman and a safe catcher.

Ajinkya Rahane, 26, right-handed batsman. 46 matches. 1,376 runs. Highest score 111.

 

The Mumbai right-hander is likely to open for India and has shown his hunger to excel in international cricket.

Rahane is introverted on the field, letting his bat do all the talking for him. He has a tendency to fly under the radar and score useful runs without taking too many risks.

Shikhar Dhawan, 29, left-handed batsman. 53 matches. 2,95 runs. Highest score 119.

The left-handed opener from Delhi is as much known for his ability to score quick runs as for his post-century moustache-twirling celebration. Dhawan has been struggling of late for consistency but enjoys the backing of his captain.

 

Rohit Sharma, 27, right-handed batsman. 127 matches. 3,90 runs. Highest score 264.

Endowed with bundles of talent, Sharma was tipped as the best batsman to come out of Mumbai since Sachin Tendulkar. The elegant right-hander has lived up to the billing by hitting two double centuries in 50-overs cricket, the only player to do so.

The 264 runs he blasted against Sri Lanka in a Kolkata ODI late last year remains the highest individual score in this format. Consistency and fitness remain issues with Sharma, who is a proven match-winner.

Stuart Binny, 30, right-handed batsman, right-arm medium pace bowler. Matches 9. Runs 91. Highest score 44. Wickets 13. Best bowling 6-4.

 

A late bloomer in international cricket, Binny's father Roger was part of India's 1983 World Cup winning squad.

Even though Dhoni wanted a batting all-rounder in the squad Binny was a surprise selection. A handy batsman, Binny can also bowl on a tidy stump-to-stump line and is difficult to score off.

Suresh Raina, 28. Left-handed bat, right-arm offspinner. 207 matches. 5,104 runs. Highest score 116*. Wickets 31. Best bowling 3-34.

Not a test regular but Raina's limited overs prowess is the reason why captain Dhoni considers him a key member of the side. A fluent batsman in this format, who can clear the boundary and run hard between wickets with the same zeal, Raina knows how to keep the scoreboard ticking over.

 

A more-than-useful spinner, he can maintain a tight line and length and has a knack of getting the important breakthrough. A brilliant fielder anywhere, Raina adds tremendous value to the team.

Ravindra Jadeja, 26. Left-handed bat, left-arm orthodox spinner. 111 matches. 1,696 runs. Highest score 87. Wickets 134. Best bowling 5-36.

Nicknamed "Rockstar" by his then IPL captain Shane Warne, Jadeja has been a regular under Dhoni. He is miserly with the ball, one of the better fielders in the side, and can score quick runs with the bat.

His importance in the team could be gauged from the fact that he was included in the squad despite still recovering from a shoulder injury.

 

Ambati Rayudu, 29. Right-handed bat. 27 matches. 743 runs. Highest score 121*.

Rayudu has not quite lived up to expectations and jeopardised his international career by joining a 'rebel' Twenty20 league in India.

That decision cost him two seasons before the strokemaker returned to mainstream cricket and impressed with stint for the Mumbai team in the Indian Premier League. His prolific IPL form earned him an ODI call-up and he will be keen to shine on his World Cup debut.

Axar Patel, 20. Left-handed bat, left-arm orthodox spinner. 13 matches. 16 wickets. Best bowling 3-40.

 

The frail-looking bowling all-rounder was rewarded for his solid IPL performance with an ODI call-up last year against Bangladesh. The youngster may live under Jadeja's shadow for the time being but would be keen to grasp whatever opportunity comes his way.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 25. Right-arm medium pace bowler. 44 matches. 45 wickets. Best bowling 4-8.

He does not have the pace of an Umesh Yadav or Varun Aaron but Kumar swings the ball both ways and can particularly trouble right-handers by curling it back into them.

A smart bowler who is aware of his strengths and limitations, Kumar will have to be at the top of his game to get India those early breakthroughs.

 

Mohammed Shami, 24. Right-arm medium pace bowler. 40 matches. 70 wickets. Best bowling 4-36.

Shami became the first Indian bowler to send down four or more maiden overs in his ODI debut in 2013. Since then, he has only got better but needs to curb his tendency to bowl one or two bad deliveries every over.

Umesh Yadav, 27. Right-arm medium pace bowler. 40 matches. 49 wickets. Best bowling 4-53.

Son of a coal miner who aspired to be a policeman, Yadav has become one of the few cricketers in India who can consistently bowl in the 140kmph range.

He can bowl quick, swing it both ways and has an effective bouncer which make him an important member of India's pace attack.

 

Ishant Sharma, 26. Right-arm medium pace bowler. 76 matches. 106 wickets. Best bowling 4-34.

Standing 6 feet 4 inches, he is India's most senior bowler, who can bowl at speeds of 140kmph. He impressed many with his 2007 spell in Perth where he set up Ricky Ponting.

Since then, he has lost pace, relies a lot more on the track and at times looks bereft of ideas.

Coach: Duncan Fletcher

The 66-year-old former Zimbabwe cricketer played six One Day Internationals for his country and was known more for designing Zimbabwe's car registration system. In 1999, he became the first foreigner to coach England and succeeded Gary Kirsten as India coach in 2011.

 

World Cup record:

1975 - first round ; 1979 - first round; 1983 - champions; 1987 - semi-finals; 1992 - seventh; 1996 - semi-finals; 1999 - sixth; 2003 - runners-up; 2007 - first round; 2011 - champions.

Overall ODI playing record:

Played - 872; Won - 437; Lost -389.

Highest innings total: 418-5 v West Indies, Indore, 2011

Lowest innings total: 54 v Sri Lanka, Sharjah, 2000

Most appearances : Sachin Tendulkar (463)

Highest individual score: Rohit Sharma (264) v Sri Lanka, Kolkata, 2014

Leading run scorer: Sachin Tendulkar (18,426)

Best bowling: 4-6, Stuart Binny v Bangladesh, Dhaka, 2014

 

Leading wicket-taker: Anil Kumble (334)

Highest partnership: 331 (2nd), Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid, v New Zealand, Hyderabad, 1999

Most catches by a fielder: Mohammad Azharuddin (156)

Most dismissals: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (308)

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