New Delhi, November 3: Former India selector Sarandeep Singh has highlighted the selection howlers in the T20 World Cup squad and said though Rohit Sharma is the obvious choice to lead the side in white-ball formats, he can't be a long-term option.
As India stare at a group stage exit from the World Cup, Sarandeep said the exclusion of Yuzvendra Chahal and Axar Patel was baffling. He also asked why Hardik Pandya was included in the squad when he has not been fit enough to bowl regularly.
Virat Kohli will step down from T20 captaincy after the World Cup and Rohit is set to succeed him. With questions now being raised on ODI captaincy, Sarandeep said Rohit is the man for the job but only in the short term.
"Rohit is a good choice (for white-ball captaincy), he is among your best batters. But the call the selection committee has to take is whether to make him captain for couple of years (till 2023 ODI World Cup) or find a leader who can lead the team for a long time.
"If they are looking at the bigger picture, K L Rahul and Rishabh Pant are good choices," Sarandeep, whose last assignment was India's historic tour of Australia earlier this year, told PTI.
Shardul Thakur took Bhuvneshwar Kumar's place for the New Zealand game, which was a massive mistake as per Sarandeep.
"If you lose one game with the your best eleven, you don't make drastic changes, you have to stick to it.
"Bhuvi should have never been dropped. If at all you had to bring in Shardul, you should have dropped Hardik, who is not the player he is used to be. Why would you pick Hardik when he is not fit enough for his all-round skills? He has not bowled regularly for two years now," said the former India spinner.
Sarandeep also had his say on other selections in the World Cup squad.
"Some of the selection calls were beyond me. Shami is one of India's best bowlers but he is not as effective in T20s as he is in Tests and ODIs. Axar Patel was earlier in the squad but you brought Shardul in his place. He could have been your main bowler.
"Yuzi Chahal was performing for the last four five overs and you don't keep him in the squad. You say that he doesn't bowl fast enough but we have been taught from day one that spinners are supposed to bowl slow and flight the ball."
Sarandeep also gave his views on mystery spinner Varun Chakaravarthy.
"Who is a mystery spinner? You play a game or two and then you play after six months. I used to ask this in our selection meetings also. Mystery spinner is not someone who would play regularly. The teams will pick you in that case."
While India have played badly in the tournament, Sarandeep feels they are not a bad team.
"What we need to realise is that other teams have actually become better. India remain a good team but need to catch up with others as it has been shown in this tournament," he added.