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Sourav Ganguly criticises selection decision to not reward Manish Pandey's 'exceptional performance'

Ganguly says Pandey should have been picked over Gurkeerat for the T20 series

Manish Pandey came up with his maiden century in the Sydney ODI

The decisions taken by the India team management regarding team composition have come under fire in recent times, and former captain Sourav Ganguly has only added fuel to the fire by saying that the selectors missed a trick in persisting with Gurkeerat Singh instead of Manish Pandey.

As a result of Ajinkya Rahane injuring his right hand in the 5th ODI, he was ruled out of the remainder of the tour, and Gurkeerat named his replacement in the T20 side. On proof of the ODI series performances, Ganguly does have a valid point.

Gurkeerat has managed to take no wickets and score 13 runs over the three opportunities provided to him, whereas Pandey has managed to score a matchwinning century in as many opportunities. 

Ganguly told Times of India, “I am surprised that Manish Pandey has not replaced Ajinkya Rahane with the selectors persisting with Gurkeerat. This is where selection comes in and with it team building. One has to reward an exceptional performance and it is sad to see him heading back home.”

Pandey’s 104* at the SCG gave India a priceless victory in the 5th ODI – halting a run of defeats and providing a good momentum for the T20I series.

Bumrah should be automatic choice: Ganguly

There are a number of new players who have come to Australia to be part of the T20 series only, and the likes of Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina and Ashish Nehra will add experience to the squad. The team composition will be interesting to see, with the choice present to have a blend of youth and experience.

Ganguly said, “Dhoni will have a lot of goto bowlers in the T20s, with the likes of Raina, Yuvraj, and Gurkeerat, and so it will be interesting to see how he shapes his playing XI.

“India will have a spring in their steps after their convincing win at Sydney. The batting was superb in all five ODIs with Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli in full flow and now, backed by Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina and of course captain Dhoni, they should be up to the task of taking on the Aussie bowling.” 

Jaspit Bumrah is tipped to start, such was his exemplary death overs bowling in the 5th ODI. It is likely that Ashish Nehra or Umesh Yadav will be his bowling partner. Hardik Pandya or Rishi Dhawan will be the third seamer, with eight overs of spin to add – whether from part-timers or from the regular bowlers.

“Bumrah should be an automatic choice but who will back him, is the question. Will it be Ashish Nehra along with Umesh Yadav or Rishi Dhawan? This is a big comeback for Nehra and I am sure he will be very keen to make a mark,” 

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