The five-member national selection committee faces its toughest test on Monday when it meets at the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) headquarters to pick the India squad for the World Cup.
Under the leadership of MSK Prasad, the selection panel has opted for a fair amount of experimentation with the playing XI in the matches preceding the marquee event in England.
Though all the five selectors — Prasad, Devang Gandhi, Sharandeep Singh, Jatin Paranjpe and Gagan Khoda — have played for the national team at some stage, none of them has been part of a World Cup squad.
Here's a sneak peek at the five men entrusted to pick India's World Cup squad in Mumbai.
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The wicketkeeper from Guntur broke into the Andhra Pradesh Ranji Trophy side in the 1994-95 season and worked himself up to the India A team. He made his India debut in an ODI against Bangladesh in 1998.
MSK Prasad played six Tests — three against New Zealand at home and three in Australia — till 2000, in place of Nayan Mongia, who was nursing an injury apart from playing in the ODIs.
After the Australia tour in 1999-2000, he was dropped on poor form. Even though a national call-up eluded him, he played seven more seasons for Andhra in the Ranji Trophy.
In 2015, six years after his final first-class game, Prasad was appointed to India’s selection committee and became its chief the following year.
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Gandhi made it to the India team in 1999 — three years after another Bengal boy Sourav Ganguly — stormed into the national team. But he failed to live up to the expectations and could only feature in four Tests and three ODIs.
The tour of Australia in 1999-2000 exposed Gandhi’s technique against short deliveries. He, however, continued playing for Bengal at the domestic level.
In his debut series against New Zealand, Gandhi paired with Sadagopan Ramesh to make an impact, but it was followed by a nightmarish outing against Australia, which dashed his dreams of faring well in the international circuit.
He quit in April 2006 and some three years ago, became the national selector from the East Zone.
ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 — Full schedule, timings
A specialist off-spinner, Sarandeep made his debut in 2000 when India played Zimbabwe in a Test match in Nagpur. In that game, Sarandeep started with four maidens and eventually bagged six wickets.
His international career, however, was short-lived as he featured in three Tests and five ODIs. He played 92 first-class, 77 List A and 10 ODis for Punjab, Delhi and Himachal Pradesh, before hanging up his boots.
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An attractive middle-order batsman, Paranjpe made his India debut in 1998 before an injury brought an abrupt end to the international career. The son of former Bombay cricketer, Vasu Paranjpe, Jatin featured in the Ranji Trophy for the first time in 1991-92. Despite being a consistent performer for Bombay, he had to wait for seven years to catch the attention of the national selectors. In his short career for India, he featured in four ODIs but failed to leave a mark. However, he represented Mumbai in 62 First-Class matches and 44 List A matches.
Paranjpe was named as one of the national selectors but was ousted from the committee in January 2017 because of the Lodha Committee diktat that the selection committees be trimmed to three members. The fact that he never played a Test match also went against him. But he was reinstated in August last year.
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A right-hand opening batsman from Rajasthan, Khoda scored a ton on debut in the Ranji Trophy in the 1991-92 season. A couple of years later, he made 237 in the Ranji Trophy quarterfinals, and eventually went on to play for India.
Featuring in a couple of ODIs in 1998, Khoda scored a gritty 89 against Kenya, followed by a 26. He also played in the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Malaysia, without much impact.
After retirement, Khoda became the national selector in 2016 but like Paranjpe, he too was ousted from the committee in January 2017 because of the Lodha Committee recommendation. He was reinstated in August last year.