Kolkata: Dinesh Karthik getting the nod over Rishabh Pant in India’s 15-member squad for the World Cup raised a lot of eyebrows, but former India captain Sourav Ganguly feels the snub is not the end of the road for the young Delhi stumper.
Playing for Delhi Capitals (DC) in the Indian Premier League (IPL), Pant made a statement with a blistering 36-ball 78 to power his team to a six-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals a few days back.
After the knock, the 21-year old India Test wicketkeeper said that World Cup selection thought was in his mind. Ganguly, who is the Delhi Capitals advisor, backed Pant, saying he is just 21 and has nothing to worry.
“Pant is a fantastic player. He is just 21 years old so there is nothing to worry,” Ganguly said on the sidelines of a promotional event.
Asked about not getting picked in the World Cup squad, Ganguly said: “There is no point talking about it. This is not the end of the road for him. He is only 21 years of age. I always stay with him and the players.”
Pant, though, has been kept as one of the standbys. DC have been on a roll, currently placed second in the points table with 14 points in their kitty from 11 matches. Quizzed if he is the reason for the success, Ganguly said: “I don’t play and it is not possible for me to do it alone. It is always the players who are responsible.”
Ganguly also praised MS Dhoni who has been in great form lately for Chennai Super Kings. “Dhoni is a great player.”
Ganguly backed his former team Kolkata Knight Riders to bounce back after facing five defeats in a row.
“KKR is a fantastic side, its just four-five games. This can happen.” On the upcoming World Cup starting May 30, Ganguly said it’s going to be one of the most keenly contested one, adding India will always be one of the favourites in any tournament they play.
“Indian cricket is so strong that in any tournament they will be favourites. This World Cup will probably be the best format. The best four teams will reach the semi-finals and there are no easy teams,” he expressed.
Asked to pick his teams for the semis, Ganguly said Australia and West Indies are doing really well lately.