Former captain Sunil Gavaskar feels including injury-prone pacer Mohammed Shami in India’s Tewnty20 World Cup squad is a bit of risk but the team announced today has “terrific balance“.
Shami was named in the squad that toured Australia but a hamstring injury meant he returned home without bowling a ball Down Under. His selection for the March 8-23 World T20 is also subject to fitness.
“It will be a bit of risk (including Shami). However, this format is short so (he can bowl four overs). More than a month is left for World T20 and he will get a fair bit of bowling in the Asia Cup too,” Gavaskar told NDTV referring to the bowler who has not played for India since the 2015 World Cup.
Overall, Gavaskar said Shami and left-arm spinner Pawan Negi’s inclusion will strengthen the squad though he wanted a leg-spinner too. Ravichandran Ashwin and left-arm tweaker Ravindra Jadeja are the leading spin pair of the team.
“This is a good team, in my view a leg-spinner would have given more options but selectors have stuck with the same team. The balance of the team in Australia was terrific and that balance hasn’t changed. In fact inclusion of Negi and Shami has strengthened the squad,” he said.
One notable name missing from the squad was of Manish Pandey, who was named in the Sri Lanka series after a match winning effort in Australia. Gavaskar had comforting words for the stylish batsmen.
“My honest advice to Manish Pandey would be to have more patience. He should do well in the Sri Lanka series (starting Feb 9) and make a case for permanent selection. And there will be some who will miss out. Players should keep trying. Youngsters should be consistent,” he said.
On M. S. Dhoni being named captain for the tournament well in advance, Gavaskar said: “Selection committee has shown faith in M. S. Dhoni and this will give him confidence. When a vote of confidence is given by selection committee, than he can focus on getting the team right.”
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