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Karthik makes it, Pant ignored in India's World Cup squad

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Mumbai, Apr 15 :  Veteran Dinesh Karthik pipped young turk Rishabh Pant in the fight for the second wicketkeeper's slot in India's 15-strong squad announced Monday for the ICC World Cup starting May 30 in England

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

The 33-year-old Karthik got the nod ahead of the 21-year-old Pant despite an indifferent IPL campaign with the Kolkata Knight Riders

"The second wicketkeeper comes into play only if Mahi (Mahendra Singh Dhoni) is injured. We went ahead with Karthik because of his experience in big matches," Prasad said while announcing the squad here.

The side, expectedly led by Virat kohli, comprises five specialist batsmen, two wicketkeepers, three fast bowlers, three all-rounders and two specialist spinners

Tamil Nadu all-rounder Vijay Shankar made it for his "three-dimensional" qualities

Squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), KL Rahul, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Vijay Shankar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Dinesh karthik, Ravindra Jadeja.

A bit surprised at Pant's omission: Gavaskar

New Delhi, Apr 15 :  Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar Monday said he is surprised at young glovesman Rishabh Pant's exclusion from India's World Cup squad given his "exceptionally" good batting form and "great" improvement in wicket-keeping skills.

The 33-year-old Dinesh Karthik pipped Pant in the fight for the second wicketkeeper's slot in India's 15-strong squad for the World Cup, starting May 30 in England. Gavaskar said the move is surprising but backed Karthik as a better wicketkeeper.

"A bit surprised, looking at his (Pant's) form. He was batting exceptionally well, not only in the IPL but before that also. He was showing great improvement his wicket-keeping as well. He brings that left-handed option in the top-six which is very handy against the bowlers," Gavaskar told 'India Today'.

"The bowlers have to change their line (for a left-hander) and the captains have to do a lot of field arrangements.

Pant has so far scored 245 runs in the ongoing IPL, compared to Karthik's 111 but Gavaskar said there was some merit in ignoring Pant's batting form.

"On a morning when say, MSD (Mahendra Singh Dhoni) has a flu and can't play, you want somebody who is a better wicket-keeper. I think Karthik's wicket-keeping skills, more than anything, have won him this place," Gavaskar said.

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