“It is not important whether he is a left-hander or a right-hander. The debate that is going on that we need three left-handers is a completely useless thought.You look at the quality of the player and not how many left-handers you have,” Gambhir said on Star Sports.
The two World Cup winner Gambhir reckons it holds little significance whether the batter is right or left-handed. What truly matters is the player’s current form and the impact they bring to the table.
“A good player whether a right-hander or left-hander will play well in every condition. So if Iyer plays well, or Rahul scores runs then pick them. It’s not necessary to pick left-handers if they are not in form. I don’t think there was any need to even start this left-hander debate. If you wanted left-handers then you have Yashasvi Jaiswal also. You always look at the quality and the form and not the quantity,” he added.
Shastri said India can have two more left-handed batters alongside all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja to bolster middle-order ahead of the Asia Cup and the subsequent World Cup.
“There are three other positions where I think two left-handers have to come in. Now, this is where the selectors’ role comes in because they are watching. They know who’s the guy who’s hot. If Tilak Varma is hot, bring him in. If you think (Yashasvi) Jaiswal is hot, bring him in,” Shastri told Star Sports.
Shastri also backed Ishan Kishan to come good.
“If you have persisted with Ishan Kishan for the last six to eight months, and he’s going to keep wickets, he comes in, in any case. But, get two left-handers,” he said.
“Including Jaddu, there should be three left-handers in the top seven. Ishan Kishan has been keeping for the last 15 months. Why go somewhere else?”
The former India captain also heaped praise on Tilak Varma, who made a successful start to his international career in the West Indies.
“(I am) very, very impressed with Tilak Varma. And, I want a left-hander. If I am looking for a left-hander, I would really look in that direction,” he concluded.