India are the main attraction at this World Cup, with their IPL superstars set to fill out all the venues “Team India” check into.
Kohli is the undisputed leader of the group and provides the energy – and runs, of course – that drives this team.
MS Dhoni is still there too, and will be seeking one final hurrah for the perfect send-off to a glittering career. India have also shown they can win major tournaments away from home, with the ICC Champions Trophy success here in the United Kingdom a testament to that fact.
They are a vastly experienced team, with some even throwing around a couple of “Dad’s Army” jibes, and in a long tournament, they might rue not having some young legs to run around the field. But what they lose in youth, they certainly gain in “BMT”.
The Playmaker: Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli may grab all the headlines, but Sharma is the lynchpin in the Indian batting unit. He is the only batsman in the world to compile three ODI double-centuries.
“The Hitman’s” consistency is also remarkable, with the Mumbai Indians captain only behind Kohli for the most ODI runs scored (3 790 at 61.12, with 14 centuries) since the 2015 World Cup. Sharma’s partnership with Shikhar Dhawan at the top of the order is among the most feared combinations in the world.
Mr Dependable: Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Simple. Uncomplicated. Modest. It doesn’t sound like a description of an Indian cricketer, but that’s exactly how “Bhuvi” goes about his business. The lanky seamer’s contribution often goes unnoticed due to bevy of egos surrounding him, but he is just there to do his job. And often he does very well too – whether with bat or ball.
The Rookie: Vijay Shankar
It should have been Rishabh Pant, with many outside observers looking on in disbelief that the dashing 21-year-old wicket-keeper/batsman was overlooked for #CWC19.
At 28, Shankar is not exactly a youngster, but he has only played nine ODIs and is now tasked with the troubled No 4 spot. The lights will certainly be shining on him every time he walks to the crease, for Kohli wants the position to be filled by someone with the skill and temperament to inject momentum into the innings.
World Cup Squad
Virat Kohli (captain), Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shikhar Dhawan, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul, Mohammed Shami, Vijay Shankar, Rohit Sharma, Kuldeep Yadav.@ZaahierAdams