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Saeed Ajmal points out Indian selectors’ mistake on 2019 World Cup squad

India has announced their squad for Cricket World Cup 2019, Vijay Shankar, Dinesh Karthik included in Virat Kohli-led squad.

Rishab Pant does not make the cut. Vijay Shankar has been slotted in that position which called for a batsman who could strike hard. He could also bowl a bit if conditions were ideal. Jadeja is chosen for the second half of the tournament when pitches would be drier.

The non-selection of Pant raised a furore in India as he can not only hit the long ball but also offers variety as a left-handed batsman. However, Indian selectors went with the experienced Dinesh Karthik as back-up wicketkeeper for veteran MS Dhoni while picking Vijay Shankar as the No 4 batsman.

Rishabh Pant has been dropped from India’s world cup squad. Photo: ICC

Former Pakistani spinner Saeed Ajmal at King’s School Al-Barsha in Dubai on Friday said that Indian wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant deserved to be picked for 2019 World Cup as a batsman.

“He has brought new life in the Indian team. Pant should have been picked as a batsman,” he said.

Ajmal said Pant has brought about a new energy in the Indian team and should have been picked for the 50-over tournament.

“India have a strong bench. Pant is a very good batsman. He has been batting very well in the IPL,” Ajmal said.

“He has brought new life in the Indian team. Pant should have been picked as a batsman. But the selectors must have spotted some weakness,” Ajmal said.

The Indian selectors opted to choose Dinesh Karthik ahead of Pant for the showpiece event. Photo: Getty Images

Ajmal, who picked hosts England and New Zealand as two dangerous teams at the World Cup, said Pakistan need to put in extra effort to defeat India in the much-awaited June 16 World Cup clash. The men in green have never defeated India in six World Cup games.

“I will never talk about the past, always look at the future. Ok, Pakistan haven’t beaten India before. They will need to put in extra effort as India are a very good team. Good luck to both teams,” he added.

India made the wrong choice by leaving Rishabh Pant out of World Cup squad, said Ricky Ponting

Batting great and head coach of Delhi Capitals, Ricky Ponting said on Monday that Team India have erred by not picking Rishabh Pant in the 15-man squad for 2019 World Cup, starting May 30 in England and Wales.

India missed a trick by not taking Rishabh Pant to the World Cup: Ricky Ponting

Reiterating that Pant was disappointed after being left out of the World Cup squad, Ponting said the Delhi Capitals star batsman would have been “absolutely devastating” in English conditions at the quadrennial cricketing spectacle.

Speaking to the official broadcasters on Monday, Ricky Ponting said: “I know how disappointed he was to miss out on the World Cup. In my opinion as well, I think India made the wrong choice there. I think he would have been absolutely devastating in English conditions through those middle over against spinners.”

He added: “Would have loved to see what he could have done in the World Cup. As I said at the time he was left out, he’s got the potential to play three or four more World Cups if he keeps himself fit and healthy.”

“Someone as explosive as Rishabh likes a bit more pace on the ball. And we saw that tonight. Once he gets those sort of wickets he’s lethal. He got a wicket like that in Mumbai and he hit 70-odd off 20-odd balls.”

Pant is currently playing for the Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League (IPL), where he has scored 336 runs in 11 games, which includes two half-centuries, at an average of 37.33 and a strike-rate of 163.10.

India will begin their World Cup campaign against South Africa in Southampton on June 5.

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