ICC World Cup 2019: Dinesh Karthik or Rishabh Pant? Harbhajan Singh makes surprising statement

Chennai Super Kings spinner Harbhajan Singh believes that the Indian cricket team does not need any back-up for MS Dhoni in the upcoming World Cup 2019. The veteran said that India should go with just one specialist wicket-keeper and that means both Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant will miss out.

“It’s not that Dhoni does not have niggles. Playing cricket with him I know he has some back issues but with his experience, he knows how to play with all that,” Harbhajan was quoted as saying by India Today.

READ: No big surprise expected as India announce squad for ICC World Cup 2019

Harbhajan suggested that KL Rahul, who can find a place in the squad as the back-up opener, can be the second wicket-keeper if needed. Rahul has been in terrific form for Kings XI Punjab and he has also been keeping wickets.

“I don’t think you need any backup for Dhoni unless he suffers from any major injury during the World Cup. In case of any minor niggle, you do have KL Rahul in the squad who can keep,” said Harbhajan.

Harbhajan agreed with former India captain Sourav Ganguly that Royal Challengers Bangalore pacer Navdeep Saini can be included in the squad. Harbhajan believes that Saini, who has raw pace and can clock up to 150kph has not only impressed on batting friendly conditions in Bengaluru but also in the domestic circuit.

“You need a fourth specialist seamer in England too and Navdeep Saini would be my pick. Not just because he has bowled well in IPL which in itself is creditable in Bangalore’s batting friendly wickets but also because he has won Ranji matches in the past, so he comes with domestic experience,” he said.

While Harbhajan agreed that Vijay Shankar’s performances in the recent past has made him a strong contender for the World Cup squad, he also expressed doubts about Ambati Rayudu retaining his place as India’s No.4.

First Published:
Apr 15, 2019 11:23 IST

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