CWC 2019: Gautam Gambhir terms India's decision to not pick Ambati Rayudu as "disgusting"

Gambhir is quite critical of India's 15-member World Cup squad that was picked on Monday (April 15).

Ambati Rayudu | Getty

Former opener Gautam Gambhir has genuine issues with Ambati Rayudu's exclusion from India's squad for the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup. He is extremely critical in this regard of the national selectors, who on Monday (April 15) finalised country's 15-member touring party for the showpiece ODI event, beginning from May 30 in England and Wales. 

"It is disgusting to see that he (Rayudu) is being judged more on his IPL form and less on his overall skill-set," Gambhir wrote in his column for The Times of India. "I am not a big fan of statistics as they never tell the whole story."

The other problem Gambhir has with India's World Cup squad is the inclusion of only three specialist fast bowlers, namely Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami and Jasprit Bumrah, as he reckons that's not enough for a tournament that is slated to be played across 50 days in the United Kingdom. 

"I must say I am surprised by the fact that we are going in with just three specialist fast bowlers. I tried to visit and then revisit this fact but I have still not been able to get my head around these selections," he added. 

"I have always believed that whatever be the format, it is the batsmen who set up the games and bowlers are the ones who win them. Therefore, I feel we are a little light in the fast-bowling department."

While selectors have also drafted in all-rounders Hardik Pandya and Vijay Shankar to provide the ideal balance and depth, Gambhir thinks that they may not prove to be of enough value to the side, as he stressed, "With due respect to Hardik Pandya and Vijay Shankar, I feel they are still work in progress. With two new balls at each end and strike rates going through the roof, any captain would need a cushion of an extra fast bowler."

"To cut a long story short, I would have gone with one more (fast bowler), perhaps Navdeep Saini in place of Vijay."

Dinesh Karthik received the nod ahead of young Rishabh Pant as India's second wicketkeeper batsman for the World Cup, behind MS Dhoni, on the back of his experience, better glovework and the ability to bat at various positions in the batting order, hence providing different options to the team management - led by skipper Virat Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri. 

"With regards to Rishabh, I think he has age on his side. I am certain that with better shot selection, he will serve India for a long, long time. He is a bundle of talent who needs to be handled carefully," Gambhir concluded. 


By Kashish Chadha - 21 Apr, 2019

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