Ishant Sharma absent from Sunil Gavaskar's Indian World Cup squad
Former Indian great Sunil Gavaskar has left out Ishant Sharma from his 15-man Indian squad for the upcoming World Cup in February-March. While Ishant is the most experienced bowler in India’s ranks and is expected to occupy one of the fast bowling spots, the Delhi seamer doesn’t make the cut in Gavaskar’s view. The final 15 will be picked by the selectors later today.
Gavaskar has, expectedly, picked Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma to open the batting while Ajinkya Rahane will be the reserve opener. The 65-year-old feels that a left-right combination will be crucial at the top of the order as it can disrupt bowlers’ lines and lengths.
"I like a left-hand right-hand combination. It throws the bowlers off and you get more wides down the leg side," Gavaskar said.
His middle-order will have the likes of Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, which comes as no surprise considering the fact that they have scored a majority of the runs in ODI cricket for India in recent years. Ambati Rayudu, meanwhile, will be the backup middle-order batsman, with his ability to don the gloves if needed being an added advantage.
"Kohli will be the man India will be hoping will carry on the tradition of big hundreds. I don't think there are better finishers in limited overs cricket like Raina and Dhoni," Gavaskar added.
Stuart Binny will be useful in Australia and New Zealand: Gavaskar
Gavaskar also picked all-rounder Stuart Binny in his squad, considering the 30-year-old’s versatility in being able to score quick runs down the order in addition to contributing a few useful overs with the ball.
"Binny can smash the ball around and as a bowler in Australia and New Zealand conditions, he can be very useful," he said.
“Ashwin is the most experienced spinner and he knows how to bowl in limited overs cricket. Down the order, he can come in handy with the bat as well."
The fast bowling responsibilities, meanwhile, will be on the shoulders of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav and Mohit Sharma.
Gavaskar’s World Cup 15: Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (Captain), Ambati Rayudu, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Akshar Patel, Stuart Binny, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Mohit Sharma