Karthik pips young Pant in India's World Cup squad

There were no surprises as the MSK Prasad-headed selection committee maintained continuity in their choices with the only topic of discussion being the second wicketkeeper. (PTI File Photo)

Dinesh Karthik’s better wicketkeeping skills have helped him pip Rishabh Pant to India’s World Cup squad, putting an end to all the speculations about the second stumper’s slot.

Announcing the 15-member squad to be led by Virat Kohli, chairman of selectors MSK Prasad reasoned that Kolkata Knight Riders skipper’s admittedly superior glove work behind the stumps worked in his favour. While Pant’s batting held an edge despite being inconsistent, his patchy job with the big gloves has been under scanner.

“In big matches, wicketkeeping can prove to be crucial and hence we have picked Karthik ahead of Pant,” said Prasad, with BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary by his side, here on Monday.

Widely tipped to make the cut, Vijay Shankar beat Ambati Rayudu to earn a ticket to the UK. Rayudu had struggled with his form after owning the No 4 slot for a while. In the meantime, Shankar had done no harm to his cause with bruising knocks in the middle to stake his claim.

“There is nothing that went against Rayudu, it’s just that things worked in favour of Shankar. He is a three-dimensional player – he can bat, bowl a bit and is a very good fielder,” pointed out Prasad.

The selectors and the team management seem to have been convinced about Ravindra Jadeja’s utility as well. While Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav appear to be the first-choice spinners, Jadeja can be lethal if the conditions suit him. The last two summers in England have been really dry and should the conditions stay the same, the left-arm spinner will be an automatic choice.  

K L Rahul too was picked as the third opener but Prasad didn’t rule out No 4 role for the Karnataka batsman.

Squad: Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit Sharma (vice-capt), Shikhar Dhawan, K L Rahul, Vijay Shankar, M S Dhoni (wk), Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal. 

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Karthik pips young Pant in India's World Cup squad

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