‘We can always crib about selection’: Sunil Gavaskar’s no-nonsense judgement on India’s T20 World Cup squad

Fit-again pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah and death overs specialist Harshal were back as the national selection committee named a 15-member India squad for next month’s T20 World Cup on Monday. Injuries had ruled both players out of the squad for the just-concluded Asia Cup T20 tournament, which saw India’s exit during the ‘Super 4’ phase. Experienced Mohammed Shami also returned to the set-up, though as a standby, while Avesh Khan found no place in the bowling mix.

India also made a change in their spin attack with Ravi Bishnoi getting pipped by senior off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin. Yuzvendra Chahal covers the base alongside Ashwin and Axar Patel, who comes in replacement of injured Ravindra Jadeja.

Bishnoi, who has maximised his limited chances at the highest level, remains on the standby list but legendary Sunil Gavaskar feels the youngster has got age on his side. He advised the leggie to turn himself into an “undroppable” player for the Indian team management.

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Bishnoi began his Indian Premier League (IPL) spell with Punjab Kings, with spin great Anil Kumble as the head coach. His consistent performances earned him a spot in the new franchise – Lucknow Super Giants. For India, the 22-year-old has picked up 16 wickets in 10 T20 Internationals so far.

“Well, he has got age on his side. There is another T20 World Cup in a couple of year’s time. There are so many T20 World Cups that he can play in the future. He should now perform in such a way that he becomes undroppable. So that’s the only way to look at it. He is a young man, it’s good experience for him to know he can’t get into every team,” Gavaskar said while speaking to India Today.

Gavaskar also said that the side looks stronger after the return of Bumrah and Harshal. Bumrah missed the Asia Cup with a back injury that has kept him out of action since mid-July, while Harshal was ruled out with a rib injury.

India have retained both Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Arshdeep Singh, who competed in the Asia Cup. Deepak Chahar is among the standbys.

“This looks a very good team. With Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel coming in, it looks like India will be able to defend their totals. India have had problems in trying to defend totals. These two stalwarts coming in will certainly give the edge to India when defending totals.

“Deepak Chahar is one name that stands out, but they have also retained Arshdeep Singh, who gives a left-arm option in the attack. Like I said, it’s a good selection. We can always crib about this thing and that thing. But now the selection is done, this is India’s team. So let’s not ask why not this, why not that? We should back this team 100 per cent. Now that the selection is done, it’s our team, back them 100 per cent,” Gavaskar further added.