The Champions Trophy saga has finally come to an end with the BCCI announcing a ‘first string’ 15 man squad for the event. As always, there has been a lot of dissent and uproar regarding a few spots, with fans being left baffled with a few selections that the BCCI has gone in with.
Gautam Gambhir and Rishab Pant’s exclusion has hurt the fans the most, with a lot of them taking to Twitter to express their frustration.
Having to select an ODI squad for an ICC tournament which is scheduled right after the IPL is a tough thing to do. It is sometimes very tough to ignore the ‘IPL lens’ and end up going in with players who perform well in the IPL(a T20 format, mind you). The BCCI selection committee needs to be commended for not getting too influenced by IPL heroics and concentrating more on the Ranji trophy, domestic ODI tournaments and international form to finally arrive at the squad of 15.
Rishab Pant could have been drafted in as an extra keeper, but the call of contention was always between Pandey and Kuldeep. India have never gone in with a second specialist keeper for ICC tournaments ever since Dhoni took up the gloves, and they have stuck to it this time as well. So, Pant could have come in only as a specialist batsman, but Dhawan’s ICC tournament history, and the fact that he has had a few good knocks in the IPL tilted the tables in his favour. Rahane could have been omitted for Pant, but again, the BCCI has gone in with someone who has scored big in foreign conditions.
Gambhir would also feel a little hard done by the decision, but again, Shikhar’s big tournament presence, and Rahane’s overseas record was a little too much for him to topple over.
Apart from that Kuldeep would also consider himself a little unlucky, as a wrist spinner could have come in very handy in English conditions, but the team combination that BCCI had in mind didn’t quite allow them to draft in Kuldeep.
This is how Twitter raged over Gambhir’s and Pant’s exclusion. Twitter reactions on the next page: