'Surprising to see Sreesanth out of the side'
With the selectors opting for a spin-oriented side for the World Cup, former India captain Sourav Ganguly on Tuesday said he was surprised to see in-form pacer S Sreesanth overlooked from the 15-man squad.
Ganguly termed it a gamble to pick only one wicketkeeper in skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni for the extravaganza that will continue in the subcontinent for about 40 days.
"It was a gamble by the selectors to pick only one wicketkeeper in Dhoni. If he picks up an injury during the World Cup and is unable to keep, then who will stand behind the wicket?" Ganguly wondered questioning the selectors' decision.
The IPL discard also criticised the decision to ignore Sreesanth who had a memorable Test series in South Africa.
"It's really surprising to see Sreesanth out of the side despite his recent form and performance," he said in Kolkata.
Image: S Sreesanth
'Rohit failed to gain selectors' confidence'
The exclusion of middle-order batsman Rohit Sharma also raised a few questions but Ganguly said the decision did not surprise him.
"He (Sharma) is a talented player. But it seems after getting enough chances he failed to gain the selectors' confidence. You have to perform at top level to get noticed. But he got many chances unlike many other talented youngsters but failed to impress."
Asked about the big hitting Yusuf Pathan's selection for the allrounder's spot, Ganguly said: "I don't think he has already proved himself. However, he is the best possible choice we have right now."
Image: Rohit Sharma
'Yusuf can be a match-winner'
Recalling his knock against New Zealand in the Bangalore turnaround, Ganguly said: "Yusuf can be a match winner. When he gets going, he can win any match single handedly. He is a very useful player in these conditions."
Ganguly, however, refused to pick any favourites to win the World Cup.
"Pressure will always be there. At this level the players are used to this situation. It's difficult to pick any particular team. India, Sri Lanka, Australia, South Africa, England -- all these teams are doing well and are the favourites. It is their performance over the 40 days that will count," Ganguly said.
India are clubbed in Group-B in the world Cup along with Bangladesh, England, South Africa, West Indies, Ireland and The Netherlands.
India will play the inaugural match of the World Cup against Bangladesh in Mirpur on February 19.
Image: Yusuf Pathan