‘It is upsetting’: Former BCCI selector reacts to Shastri’s ‘what was the logic in having Dhoni, Pant, Karthik’ remark


Ravi Shastri’s explosive comments regarding the absence of Ambati Rayudu and Shreyas Iyer from India’s 2019 World Cup squad and questioning the ‘logic’ behind having three wicketkeepers in MS Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant at the ICC event has not gone down well with former BCCI selector Sarandeep Singh.

The former India spinner, who was part of the BCCI selection panel along with MSK Prasad as its chairman, explained that nothing the selection committee did was without discussing it with the captain (Virat Kohli) and coach (Shastri).

Shastri had recently, in an interview with Times of India, stated that he had ‘no say’ in dropping Rayudu from the squad and that there was no logic in having three wicketkeepers in the squad, adding that ‘either Ambati [Rayudu] or Shreyas [Iyer] could have come in’. To it, Sarandeep explained the reason behind selecting Pant, Karthik and Dhoni.

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“All the three wicket-keepers are very good as batsmen. A selector does not interfere in selection. Rishabh Pant was selected when Shikhar Dhawan got injured during the World Cup. We already had an opener in KL Rahul,” explained Sarandeep Singh about Rishabh Pant’s selection.

“So, we were looking for someone to come and bat in the middle order and play big shots. This is the reason why Rishabh Pant was in the team. But to pick playing eleven is team management’s call. The selection committee does not interfere in it.”

Pant was rightly called in as Dhawan’s replacement after the left-handed opener fractured his finger following a superlative century he scored against Australia at The Oval. As for Dhoni, the former India captain was always going to be in the scheme of things. As far as Karthik is concerned, he was always going to be a contender following his performances in the Nidahas Trophy and the IPL.

“In the 2019 World Cup if you are looking at selection of Rishabh Pant then he was not their first choice. MS Dhoni and Dinesh Karthik were in the team and we were winning all the matches. We even topped the table. But suddenly with these things coming, it is upsetting for us because we did our job fairly,” Sarandeep pointed out.

“We travelled all the time, we saw domestic matches in which batsmen, bowlers or all-rounders are doing well. There is nothing like that we never share anything and we just have things on the table and we say that this is the team. The captain is also sitting in the meeting all the time.”

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