Sunil Gavaskar has left out the hero of World Cup 2011 triumph Yuvraj Singh while finalizing his 15-man squad for the tournament. It is clear that the former India skipper and expert commentator Sunil Gavaskar has kept emotions aside while choosing his preferred squad for the tournament which begins on February 14.
While speaking to NDTV, Gavaskar has disclosed his 15-man squad on the eve of the team selection. The Board of Control for Cricket in India will be selecting the squad on Tuesday in Mumbai. Gavaskar has however not deviated much from the prominent expected cricketers. There were not many surprises in Gavaskar line-up, which started with the opening pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma. Commenting on this he stated “I like a left hand-right hand combination. It throws the bowlers off and you get more wides down the leg side.
Gavaskar has placed Ajinkya Rahane at number three spot and also allotted him the status of a reserve opener. Rearranging few positions, he has placed at number four, five and six, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina and Mahendra Singh Dhoni respectively, with the hope that will score the bulk runs for India. Gavaskar described “Kohli will be the man India will be hoping will carry on the tradition of big hundreds. I don’t think there are better finishers in limited overs cricket like Raina and Dhoni.”
Gavaskar has included Ambati Rayudu in his squad, relying on his experience of playing in Australia with the India A side.
Our front runner reliable bowling pair of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami was the first two names on Gavaskar’s list of bowlers. He has also chosen Umesh Yadav for his extra pace and his ability to bowl a yorker. According to Gavaskar the fourth fast bowling option for Gavaskar was Mohit Sharma and elaborating this he said “Mohit Sharma has played so much T20 cricket and is so good in those final overs. His back of the hand slower deliveries is very difficult to pick. India needs someone who can bowl those and take advantage of the huge Australia grounds.”
Gavaskar has invariably preferred talented trio for the spin for spin attack viz Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel. He said “Ashwin is the most experienced spinner and he knows how to bowl in limited overs cricket. Down the order he can come in handy with the bat as well.”
Surprisingly, the final place in Gavaskar’s squad went to all-rounder Stuart Binny. “Binny can smash the ball around and as a bowler in Australia and New Zealand conditions, he can be very useful.” he said.
India will be beginning their World Cup campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan on February 15. However on a personal note I believe that Yuvraj would have been a much better choice instead of Stuart Binny.