What message are you giving to the existing players? That you can score 5, 10 or 20 with an occasional half century and stay on till World Cup next year? You can’t defend the World Cup like that  Sunil Gavaskar Former India captain

New Delhi: Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar said the current Indian team members should not take their places for granted for next year’s World Cup, saying the debacle against New Zealand has left the door open for veterans and talented youngsters to force their way into the squad.

“Of course, you cannot rule out players (not in the current lot). What message are you giving to the existing players? That you can score 5, 10 or 20 with an occasional half century and stay on till World Cup next year? You can’t defend the World Cup like that,” Gavaskar, who opposed skipper MS Dhoni’s view of carrying on with same set of players, said.

While he did not name anyone, Gavaskar did point out that all is not lost for the 30 plus veterans like Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh, citing the example of Aussie veteran Brad Hodge.”I believe in horses for courses. Never mind what the age of the player is. Brad Hodge is 39 and Australia brought him back for the T20 International against England. Form and not age should be the criteria for selection. But one needs to do it now as it can get late by the time you think doing it,” Gavaskar told NDTV.

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