Pant’s omission has stumpers stumped

Omkar Paranjape
Tuesday, 16 April 2019

“I was certainly surprised to learn about Pant being not picked, as he has done really well for the Indian team. He’s an excellent young player and would’ve been a good value addition to the Indian side,” Kiran More said

MUMBAI: The only notable omission, as the MSK Prasad-led selection announced the 15-member Indian World Cup squad, was Rishabh Pant.

Given the hype around him and a Rs 5-crore central contract, the Delhi-based ‘keeper-batsman seemingly had his nose in front against his nearest rival Dinesh Karthik.

Kiran More, a former Indian wicket-keeper, was surprised to see Rishabh Pant miss out on a World Cup ticket, losing out to the seasoned Dinesh Karthik.

“I was certainly surprised to learn about Pant being not picked, as he has done really well for the Indian team. He’s an excellent young player and would’ve been a good value addition to the Indian side,” More, famous for his tussle with Javed Miandad during an India-Pakistan clash in 1992 World Cup, said.

Karthik trumped Pant because the selectors wanted to have a proper ‘keeper as MS Dhoni’s backup.

UNANIMOUS DECISION
As Prasad, a former stumper himself, said at the press conference: “We all were in unison that either Pant or DK will come in only when Mahi is injured. In an important game, wicket-keeping is also important. That’s the reason we went with Dinesh Karthik.

More, however, has a different take on that.

“I do not agree with the selector’s justification for dropping him, as I think one always gets better with age,” he said.

MSK Prasad later cleared the air on the decision. The former India wicketkeeper made it clear that the selectors went for wicketkeeping skills and this named Dinesh Karthik as the backup ‘keeper.

PANDIT CONTENT WITH KARTHIK
Chandrakant Pandit, a former India wicketkeeper, backed the selector’s decision to pick Karthik.

“First thing first, I do not think MS Dhoni will give chance to any other wicket-keeper as he’s a clear No 1. On the other hand though, Dinesh Karthik is a better wicket-keeper than Pant, so him getting the chance makes sense,” said Pandit, who led Vidarbha to back-to-back Ranji Trophy triumphs.

Vijay Shankar, who has had a fruitful few months too, made it to the Indian team. The batting-all rounder has been a revelation, and he could not hold back his excitement after getting the nod for the World Cup.

“I am extremely elated to be in the Indian WC team. This is like a dream come true. We have a few World cup winning team members here at SRH and I have spoken to them to understand what it feels like to play in a WC and then go on to win it,” he exclaimed.

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