Despite being the mainstays of the Kolkata Knight Riders’ batting line-up, both GautamGambhir and Robin Uthappa failed to find a spot in the 15-members squad that has been selected for the ICC Champions Trophy which is scheduled to be held next month in England. The decision of not picking Gambhir came as a surprise to a major section of the cricket pundits as the KKR captain has scored heavily both in the ongoing Indian Premier League and the domestic season.
As far as Uthappa’s inclusion to the team is concerned, he only had an outside chance to make it to the squad as Indian team, in spite of scoring consistently in this year’s IPL, as the middle order is already packed with in form batters and with M S Dhoni in the team, the KKR wicket keeper practically had no chance of featuring in the squad as a man behind the stumps with the wicket keeping gloves.
The major surprise was the selection of the other left handed Delhi opener, ShikharDhawan, in place of GautamGambhir. Dhawan, who opens the batting for Sunrisers Hyderabad, has played under the shadow of David Warner (orange cap holder) and had managed to score 388 runs 11 matches on the eve of the selection. On the other hand, the KKR skipper amassed 425 runs from 12 matches at a stagger average of above 47.
According to experts, Gambhir, the unsung hero of the 2007 t20 World Cup and 2011 50 over World Cup final, went under the radar of the selection committee because age is not on his side. Gambhir, who made a comeback to the national test team last year against New Zealand, has not played limited overs international matches since 2013. This too had probably went against him as the selectors may have decided not to pick someone for the high voltage who has not been in the pick of things in the recent past.
Apart from Gambhiir and Uthappa, the skipper of the Gujrat Lions, Suresh Raina, too suffered a heart break after the team was announced. In an interview, Raina expressed his disappointment over being omitted from the 15 member squad. Raina told that he was hurt as he was expecting a comeback call as he has been proving his mettle in this year’s IPL. Although his team is out of the competition for the playoffs, player Raina has been impressive with the bbat all throughout the 10th edition of the cricketing extravaganza. The only consolation for the middle order leftie is he has been selected as a part of the stand by team along with the like of Kuldeep Yadav, Rishab Pant, Shardul Thakur and Dinesh Kartik.