Gavaskar has his say on India’s World Cup squad

Former Indian batsman Sunil Gavaskar was surprised with the exclusion of Rishabh Pant while also explained what triggered the selectors to chose Dinesh Karthik over him.

Dhoni and Pant in training ground
India announced their World Cup squad on Monday afternoon and some of the inclusions and exclusions surprised the cricket world.

Ambati Rayudu, who was guaranteed a spot even a month before has been dropped to make a place for Vijay Shankar while Dinesh Karthik has been preferred over Rishabh Pant.

Also Read - A dream came true: Shankar on World Cup selection

Considering the current form, Gavaskar was surprised by Pant’s exclusion but also believes the wicket-keeping skills made the difference between them.

“A bit surprised, looking at his (Pant’s) form. He was batting exceptionally well, not only in the IPL but before that also. He was showing great improvement his wicket-keeping as well. He brings that left-handed option in the top-six which is very handy against the bowlers.”

“On a morning when say, MSD (Mahendra Singh Dhoni) has a flu and can’t play, you want somebody who is a better wicket-keeper. I think Karthik’s wicket-keeping skills, more than anything, have won him this place,” he said.

Meanwhile, he said Shankar made it to the World Cup squad because of his “three-dimensional qualities.”

“He is a cricketer who has improved over the last one year. He has grown in confidence. Shankar is a very useful cricketer. He is a very, very good batsman, handy bowler, and an outstanding fielder,” he concluded.

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