The 15-member Indian squad for the 2019 World Cup was announced on Monday (April 15), but the discussions about the surprising omissions and the inclusions seem to be never-ending. One of the most astonishing selections was of Dinesh Karthik as the reserve wicket-keeper batsman ahead of young Rishabh Pant. Many of the cricket fans and former cricketers have opined mixed reactions on Pant’s exclusion. The most recent person in the list to put forth his opinion on the World Cup selections is former Indian chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar.
Pant was certain to find a place in the Indian squad for the 2019 World Cup as during the last international assignment against Australia, the Delhi wicket-keeper batsman was preferred over Karthik in the ODIs. However, Pant brought his case under serious threat after disappointing performances both with the bat as well as behind the wickets. Indian current chief selector MSK Prasad also mentioned that Karthik has been included in the World Cup squad due to his experience both as a keeper and as batsman.
I was expecting him in the squad
During a recent interview, former Indian cricketer Dilip Vengsarkar revealed that if he was a national selector, he would have definitely picked Pant in the World Cup squad. Vengsarkar mentioned that the left-hander is a very talented cricketer and reckoned that he was expected to be in that England flight.
“If I was a selector today, I would have gone for Rishabh Pant in the World Cup team. Pant is very talented, I was expecting him in the squad,” Dilip Vengsarkar was quoted as saying during a conversation with Khaleej Times.
Pant performed amazingly well in his debut Test series against England in 2018, where he smashed a remarkable century in the final Test at the Oval. He is also the only Indian wicket-keeper batsman to score centuries in England as well as in Australia. “He is young and he is an in-form batsman. He should have been in the team,” Vengsarkar added.
They were looking for experience
The former chief selector who was also part of the 1983 World Cup winning Indian team, reckoned that the selectors may have picked Karthik due to his years of experience. He also admitted the fact that Pant is yet prove himself as a limited-overs batsman.
“Pant has done exceedingly well in Test cricket although he is yet to prove himself to be the same in limited-overs cricket. Maybe they were looking for experience so went for Karthik, who has been playing for over ten years,” the former Indian cricketer concluded.