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Sunil Gavaskar 'surprised' over Rishabh Pant's omission from India's World Cup squad

Rishabh Pant (L), Sunil Gavaskar (R). Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team New York, NY, USA Apr 15, 2019, 08.20 PM (IST)

Former Indian cricketer and present cricket commentator Sunil Gavaskar was surprised over the Rishabh Pant's exclusion from India's 15-member squad for the upcoming cricket World Cup which will take place in England and Wales. 

"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," Gavaskar told a media house. 

The 33-year-old Dinesh Karthik was given the second wicketkeeper's slot over rising 21-year-old star Rishabh Pant. 

Karthik's form has been indifferent in recent games, but selectors valued his performance under pressure over the years.

"We went ahead with Karthik because of his experience in big matches. We have seen Karthik finishing matches under pressure," chief selector MSK Prasad told a news conference.

Also Read: Twitterati express Rishabh Pant's mood in Bollywood style after being excluded from ICC World Cup squad

"Pant is full of talent, he has time on his hands. Unfortunately, he missed out," Prasad added.  

Gavaskar also appreciated Karthik's selection and said, "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."

India takes on New Zealand (May 25) and Bangladesh (May 28) in the warm-up matches before the World Cup.

The 50-over tournament will take place in England and Wales from May 30 to July 14. India will open their World Cup campaign against South Africa on June 5.  

Story highlights

Karthik's form has been indifferent in recent games, but selectors valued his performance under pressure over the years