India veteran Gautam Gambhir, who was recently conferred with the prestigious Padma Shri Award, has revealed his predicted 15-member Indian squad for the forthcoming ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
Though Gauti’s squad has the usual suspects, one name that might strike a difference with fellow cricket fans and experts is that the southpaw feels off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin should be part of the Indian team in place of all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja.
“Both wrist-spinners (Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal) have done well in the last one year. But I still feel that R Ashwin is somebody we should look at. Obviously, a quality off-spinner is a quality off-spinner. I’ve always believed that a quality spinner is a quality spinner – irrespective of whether he is a wrist-spinner or a finger-spinner,” said Gambhir.
“I think R Ashwin is someone who we should always consider because we are looking at conditions in England during that time of the year. Wickets could be flat and worn out. So a finger-spinner can be effective with the ball as well,” he added.
The former Indian opener, who retired from all forms of the game in December last year, picked Shami as the third seamer in place of young Khaleel Ahmed. Shami did prove his worth in the first ODI against New Zealand where he finished with figures of 3 for 19 en route to becoming the fastest Indian bowler to claim 100 ODI wickets.
The other popular name that failed to make a cut in Gambhir’s predicted squad is that of Rishabh Pant. Despite repeated assurance by the Indian selectors regarding the 21-year-old being part of the team’s World Cup mix, Gambhir had said that the performance of MS Dhoni and Dinesh Karthik leaves lesser opportunity for Pant to crack the code.
Gautam Gambhir’s Indian squad for the ICC World Cup 2019:
Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Ravichandran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav.