New Delhi: Former captain Sunil Gavaskar today gave a thumbs up to the selection committee’s decision to reward the domestic players while naming a new-look India squad for the upcoming limited overs series in Zimbabwe.
Led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the second-string team will comprise uncapped players such as Vidharbha left-handed opener Faiz Fazal, off-spinner Jayant Yadav, Punjab middle-order batsman Mandeep Singh and IPL star Yuzvendra Chahal.
“It is good to see performances being rewarded. It is not only about IPL. Chahal, the season he has played before, he has picked up wickets. He is another outstanding fielder,” Gavaskar told ‘NDTV’.
“It is good to see performances in domestic cricket (being) rewarded. You can always argue that IPL is also a domestic tournament but for me events like Ranji trophy, (Syed) Mushtaq Ali, Vijay Hazare, these performances should really matter when picking a national team.”
Asked about the Pandya brothers — Hardik and Krunal — missing out, Gavaskar said: “I think it is early days. I think the selectors have done the right thing, they want to see more of Krunal Pandya, they have seen Hardik. There is still little time for both of them. The more experienced they get, that will be better for them. You can’t complain.
“Yeah, sometime you may feel stuck. IPL is a glamour tournament and lot of time people have been selected on basis of IPL and they were floundering in international cricket. It is a different ball game. So may be it is a blessing in disguise for Pandhya brothers.”
India’s Test squad was also announced today for the tour of West Indies featuring four games in July-August with uncapped Mumbai pacer Shardul Thakur being the surprise pick.
Talking about the selected Test squad, Gavaskar said: “I don’t think there was much opportunity to make too many changes in Test squad. In Tests, the core has to be there for a year or so and having done so well in the series against South Africa, there was not much chance to make changes.
“Because you are going so far away, sometimes the selectors take an extra player. It is good to see Shardul Thakur being rewarded for bowling his heart out for Mumbai in the entire season.
“For the last couple of seasons, he has been amongst the leading wicket-taker for Mumbai and for the quick players, you need to pick them early before they start having fitness problems.