Sunil Gavaskar backs Stuart Binny's World Cup inclusion
Former India opener Sunil Gavaskar has praised the Indian selectors for picking a very good side to defend the World Cup crown in Australia and New Zealand. The selectors picked the 15-member squad for the World Cup on Tuesday.
Gavaskar felt that while the batting line-up looks powerful with the likes of Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina, it will be all-rounders of the ilk of Ravindra Jadeja and Stuart Binny who will hold the key to India’s chances at the mega event.
“The Indian batsmen are capable of putting a lot of runs on the board. Batting has been India's strength. But the fact that we won the last World Cup and the Champions Trophy on the all-round performance -- so the Jadejas, Binnys, Ashwins could play a role in India defending the title,” Gavaskar told NDTV.
India have picked a four-man pace attack for the tournament, and the 65-year-old added that the bowlers will have to step up to the plate and complement the batters.
“India's batting looks good and as far as bowling is concerned, if they can bowl well on the surfaces in Australia, they have a good chance," he added.
Shikhar Dhawan hasn’t had the greatest of times in the longer format of the game in Australia, but the former India opener felt that the ODI format will suit the 29-year-old left-hander and expected him to come good in coloured clothing.
"The World Cup is a 50-over format and this is the format which will suit Dhawan more," he said.
Binny can prove to be useful in Australia: Gavaskar
One of the big talking points of the squad was the selection of Stuart Binny, which received quite a bit of flak from several corners. Gavaskar, however, felt that the 30-year-old could prove to be useful with the ball in the conditions Down Under and can also contribute lower down the order.
“When I picked my 15, although I am not even a selector, I had applied my mind. I chose Stuart because on those kind of surfaces (Australia and New Zealand), he could come in very handy with the seam bowling, as a lower order batsman also or as a floater. He can be pretty handy with the bat.
Whenever he got his chances in limited overs cricket, he picked more wickets than the regular bowlers. And the fact that India do not have great all-rounders, even as Akshar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja are there, Binny could be a good seam bowling all-rounder," he said.
Rayudu can fill in for Dhoni: Gavaskar
He also agreed with the selection of Ambati Rayudu as the backup wicketkeeper for MS Dhoni.
“Rayudu has done a good job for Mumbai Indians and he can fill in for Dhoni. If there is a serious injury then replacement could be asked for."
Gavaskar chose to be diplomatic when asked if a leg-spinner would’ve been a good option in Australia.
"If that was the way I thought, I would have included a leg-spinner in my 15 that I chose the other day," he remarked.
“World Cup omission must’ve been hard on Yuvraj”
There was a lot of talk of Yuvraj Singh being included in the final squad despite having been omitted from the 30 probables. Gavaskar said that the left-hander needs to put in the hard yards in domestic cricket and he will surely be finding it hard to stay away from the Indian dressing room.
"It must have been hard on Yuvraj, who was the man-of-the-series in the last World Cup but form is such an important thing. But he is just 33-34 years old. Looking back at his experiences with the team earlier, he must be motivated to try and make a comeback. He must be missing the dressing room atmosphere, the camaraderie, the training, travelling, etc," he concluded.