Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly has named three players from the team’s 2019 World Cup squad that he would pick for the 2003 World Cup team. India had made it to the final of the 2003 World Cup, in which they lost to Australia. Meanwhile, India’s 2019 World Cup journey ended when they lost to New Zealand in the semi-final.
Ganguly says that he would have picked Jasprit Bumrah, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, as they would have added strength to India’s 2003 World Cup team. Rohit Sharma was the highest run-getter of the 2019 World Cup as he had scored 648 runs in nine matches at an average of 81. Rohit scored five centuries in the World Cup and he is the solitary batsman to do so in a single edition of the World Cup.
Virat Kohli had scored 443 runs in the 2019 World Cup at an impressive average of 55.38. On the other hand, Jasprit Bumrah had scalped 18 wickets in nine matches of the World Cup at an average of 20.61.
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There is no doubt that these three players are the best in the current Indian team and they would have added strength to the 2003 World Cup team. However, the combination would have been tricky as the 2003 World Cup already had Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Sourav Ganguly batting in the top order.
Ganguly said while talking to Mayank Agarwal on DadaOpensWithMayank on BCCI, “Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah.”
Explaining the reasons, Ganguly said, “The quality of Jasprit Bumrah. We played in South Africa, although we bowled exceptionally well in that series. Bumrah, Rohit and Virat would be in the middle. Rohit at the top, and I at no. 3. I don’t know, maybe Sehwag might be listening to this and I would get a phone call tomorrow, ‘what the hell do you think’. But I would have these three in the squad,” he said.
India had a weak middle order in the 2019 World Cup whereas the 2003 World Cup team had batsmen like Rahul Dravid and Yuvraj Singh.
In fact, Ganguly added that he would have picked MS Dhoni if Mayank had asked him to pick four players. Dhoni had all the experience and the talisman had almost got India over the line with Ravindra Jadeja in the semi-final contest against New Zealand.
However, Rahul Dravid had kept the wickets in 2003 World Cup and he had also done a fine job behind the wickets. Dravid’s record in the World Cup matches was brilliant as he had scored 860 runs in 22 matches at an average of 61.42 in the tournament. On the other hand, Dhoni scored 780 runs in 29 World Cup matches at an average of 43.33.