The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Monday announced Team India’s 15-member squad for the forthcoming ICC World Cup 2019  and wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik, who pipped youngster Rishabh Pant, said it was a dream come true to be a part of the team.

“I am very excited. It has been a dream for me to be a part of this team for a long time now,” he said.

“As a team, we have done some special things and I have been through that journey and I have really wanted to be a part of this team,” he told www.kkr.in.

Karthik Monday returned to India’s World Cup squad after 12 years, trumping Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s heir apparent Pant in a selection move that will be debated for a long time.

The second wicketkeeper was the sole bone of contention for the marquee event starting in England and Wales on May 30 and the 33-year-old Karthik’s experience of 91 ODIs gave him the edge over the 21-year-old Pant, according to the five-member selection panel headed by MSK Prasad.

The batsmen feature captain Virat Kohli, who currently tops the ICC batting rankings followed by second-ranked Rohit Sharma and his co-opener Shikhar Dhawan who is also among the top 15.

As expected, former Indian skipper MS Dhoni is a part of the England-bound squad. With the number four spot sparking most debates on its contention, it will be Vijay Shankar or KL Rahul who will be taking the place. On number five will be Kedar Jhadav.

Among others, all-rounders Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja have been included. Pacers include the likes of ace Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami. While spinners are Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav.

India, the 1983 and 2011 world champions will kick start their campaign on 5 June against South Africa at the Hampshire Bowl in Southampton.

India’s World Cup Squad: Virat Kohli (Capt), Rohit Sharma (vc), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Vijay Shankar, MSD (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohd Shami.

(With PTI Inputs)