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If I were selector today, would have picked Pant in WC squad, says Dilip Vengsarkar

The national selectors opted to go with the experienced Karthik over Pant in the World Cup 2019 squad.

Dilip Vengsarkar
Dilip Vengsarkar. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Former Indian chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar, who had once backed Virat Kohli to be in the national team, has thrown his weight behind Rishabh Pant who narrowly missed a berth in India’s squad for the World Cup starting next month. ‘The Colonel’, as Vengsarkas is called, said had he been still the selector today, he would have gone for the young keeper-batsman adding his successors perhaps preferred experience more and hence went with Dinesh Karthik, who made a WC squad after 12 years.

Pant had his nose ahead when he was picked over Karthik in India’s last international series before the WC, which was against Australia last month. But the 21-year-old made a mess of the opportunity that came his way, especially in keeping, after Mahendra Singh Dhoni was rested. Current chief selector MSK Prasad said wicket-keeping skill is also important and hence Karthik prevailed eventually as the squad’s second keeper.

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Expected Pant to be in the team

Speaking to Khaleej Times, the 63-year-old Vengsarkar said: “If I was a selector today, I would have gone for Rishabh Pant in the World Cup team. Pant is very talented, I was expecting him in the squad.” The former batsman, who was a member of the Indian team that won the 1983 World Cup in England, also referred to the Test century that Pant hit at the Oval last year in his debut series. “He is young and he is an in-form batsman. He should have been in the team.”

Pant has done exceedingly well in Test cricket although he is yet to prove himself to be the same in limited-overs cricket.
“Maybe they were looking for experience so went for Karthik, who has been playing for over ten years,” Vengsarkar was further quoted as saying.

Also Read- World Cup 2019: 15-man squad from the axed players for the tournament

A batsman with three Test centuries at the iconic Lord’s, Vengsarkar though said India have a balanced side to compete in the World Cup. He said the team has three good seamers, as many quality spinners and two all-rounders, adding that it is to be seen how the players play in the English conditions.

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