Former India pacer Karsan Ghavri feels that a “good and balanced” team has been picked for the ICC World Cup but thinks that Rishabh Pant should also have made it to the squad.
The 68-year-old said that Pant might have lost out as the second wicket-keeper in the squad to Dinesh Karthik due to the latter’s superior ‘keeping abilities’.
“According to me it’s a very good and well-balanced team, but I think Rishabh Pant should have found a place,” Ghavri said. “The selectors, and a lot of people, think in his wicket-keeping abilities he is no match to Dinesh Karthik. Wicket-keeping is [also] important.”
“But he could have been a great advantage because Rishabh Pant, according to me, is a much better batsman. He is a match-winner and he can win you a match on his own. But whatever the selectors and the captain have thought, I [still] think they have picked the best team,” the former left-arm pacer added.
The second wicketkeeper’s spot was a bone of contention in the selection of the squad for the marquee event starting in England and Wales on May 30.
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.
Ghavri felt Ambati Rayadu could have come in place of Tamil Nadu all-rounder Vijay Shankar, but also pointed out that the latter’s all-round ability worked in his favour. “Instead of Vijay Shankar they should have picked Ambati Rayadu, because he is a more experienced player and he has come a long way.
“The advantage with Shankar is that he is a batsman who can bowl too. This team, like the one in 1983, has 4-5 all -rounders who can chip in with bat and ball and in fielding. I am not criticising Shankar’s selection. He is a utility cricketer,” added Ghavri.
Former chairman of selectors Chandu Borde said now there are three-four stumpers in the squad. “Now in the team there are three or four wicket-keepers and batsmen – one is [MS] Dhoni, second is Karthik, [KL] Rahul can keep and [Kedar] Jadhav can also keep and it is a luxury as far as wicket-keeper-batsmen are concerned,” Borde quipped.
Borde advised the disappointed Pant not to give up. He said: “He should not [give up] and has a bright future. I am sure he will be in the team soon, sooner than what we expect.”