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T20 World Cup: Sunil Gavaskar feels Rinku Singh's poor IPL form could be reason behind exclusion from main squad

The BCCI announced a 15-member squad for the T20 World Cup in the USA and West Indies in June, keeping the hard-hitting middle-order batter in the reserves.
Last Updated : 30 April 2024, 17:09 IST
Last Updated : 30 April 2024, 17:09 IST

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Mumbai: Big-hitter Rinku Singh not finding a place in the main India squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup in the Americas surprised the likes of former all-rounder Irfan Pathan and ex-Australia skipper Aaron Finch, but the legendary Sunil Gavaskar attributed it to the left-handed batter's poor form in the ongoing IPL.

The BCCI on Tuesday announced a 15-member squad for the T20 World Cup in the USA and West Indies in June, keeping the hard-hitting middle-order batter, who has played 15 T20Is, in the reserves, along with Shubman Gill, Khaleel Ahmed and Avesh Khan.

Pathan was one of the the most vocal former players after the announcement, opining on 'X' that "Rinku's recent past performance for Team India shouldn't have been ignored."

Former Australia white-ball skipper Finch said he was 'surprised' by the BCCI selectors picking four spinners in the side and not Rinku.

"I was surprised by the four spinners. I had Rinku in there and only two spinners," said Finch on Star Sports.

West Indian great Ian Bishop too expressed his surprise at Rinku's exclusion, saying, "So, if you're talking about surprises, I think Rinku Singh has done enough in international cricket. He averages well over 60 or 70 in T20Is to hold a place in the 15.

"So, that's the only thing that had my ears sticking up. So I'm only saying that the extra spinner, someone like Axar (Patel), has been preferred to Rinku," Bishop told Star Sports.

Gavaskar, though, felt that Rinku's form in the ongoing IPL had to do with him not being included in the main squad.

"Maybe his form in this particular edition of the IPL hasn't been great. He hasn't had that many opportunities, maybe that's the reason why they've (selectors) not picked him," Gavaskar told Sports Today.

He said he would have liked to see someone like left-handed pacer T Natarajan in the World Cup-bound squad.

"I was thinking more like T Natarajan, the left-hand pace bowler. He has been bowling exceedingly well, so thought he could have been in the team."

The former India captain had no doubt that the Rohit Sharma-led side will do well in the marquee event.

"I don't know the reason but this Indian team looks a very good team, no question about it. Its got plenty of experience, they've got some real big hitters, they've got variety in bowling as well," he opined.

India will go into the showpiece event with four spinners—Axar Patel, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav—and only three specialist fast bowlers but Gavaskar felt with all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who was named Rohit's deputy on Tuesday, will do the duty of a fourth seamer.

"Well, there is Hardik Pandya to bowl as well as the fourth seam bowler, so maybe that's the reason they've (selectors) gone with four spin bowlers. The pitches in the West Indies... there'll be a little more help for the spinners than for the quick bowlers.

"As we have seen in the IPL, the slower the deliveries, the harder it is for the batters to hit and that's perhaps the reason why they have gone with extra spinner," said Gavaskar.

Gavaskar felt a problem of plenty and Shubman Gill's 'patchy' performance in the IPL led to the selectors only considering him as a reserve player.

"That is the blessing that India has, they've got so many players. In fact, if you can make a second team, that team will also be capable of lifting this Cup with a bit of luck.

"So, sometimes that happens, sometimes you have to leave a good player out, that's what seems to have happened with Gill. Again, his form in the last few games has been patchy. He started the IPL very well but the last few matches have been patchy which has cost GT victories. Gill scores, GT have been winning. He has not been scoring, they have not been winning," said Gavaskar.

Gavaskar felt a change in 'attitude' and 'approach' in the Indian side, which had failed to make an impact in the previous two editions of the T20 World Cup, could ensure the Rohit-led team lift the trophy.

"There has been changes in attitude, changes in approach, which we saw in the 50-over World Cup (last year in India), and that augurs well for this (T20) World Cup as well."

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Published 30 April 2024, 17:09 IST

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