Why Kohli left out Pant for Karthik...Virat secret is out

New Delhi, May 15: India skipper Virat Kohli has backed the selectors' decision to include Dinesh Karthik in the World Cup squad as the second wicketkeeper ahead of young sensation Rishabh Pant.

On Wednesday, Kohli reiterated the selectors' stand that Karthick made the cut due to his superior experience and composure in difficult situations.

"In pressure situations, he's shown composure. It was something that everybody on board was convinced about. He has the experience. If, god forbid, something happens to MS (Dhoni), Karthik can be immensely valuable behind the wickets. As a finisher, he's done well," Kohli was quoted as saying by the Times of India.

"So, it was the overall exposure to a tournament of this magnitude that was taken into primary consideration," he added.

Former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni will India's first-choice wicketkeeper during the World Cup which stars in England and Wales on May 30.

According to the selctors, Karthik will only make the playing Xi if Dhoni picks up an injury. Teams have been allowed time until May 23 to make changes to their respective squads.

Several former players have expressed surprise at Pant's exclusion from the squad.

This is only the second time Karthick has made it to the World Cup squad. He made his debut in world cricket's showpiece event in 2007.

The 33-year-old from Tamil Nadu made his One-Day International (ODI) debut in 2004 and has played 91 matches for India in this. He has also played 26 Tests and has the ability to bat anywhere in the order.

Pant, on the other hand, has played just five ODIs after making his 50-over debut in October last year.

But several players, including former India captain Sourav Ganguly feel that the explosive batting style of the 21-year-old left-hander would have been an asset for India at the World Cup.

News24 Bureau

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