Gautam Gambhir Made A Big Statement On 'Rishabh Pant vs Dinesh Karthik' Debate
Barring a couple of spots, opened up by Ravindra Jadeja’s injury, most of the Indian batters pick themselves.
One debate for the wicket-keeper’s spot that has been going on for a while is should India play with left-hander Rishabh Pant, who is yet to make a consistent mark in T20Is, or should they bank on Dinesh Karthik, who has made a comeback at the age of 37 and specializes in the finishing role.
In the Asia Cup, India started with Dinesh Karthik at number 7, benching Pant. However, after two games Jadeja got injured and India were in need of a left-hander in the middle-order, recalled Pant, replacing Karthik. That, however, meant that India didn’t have a proper finisher and which they lacked in the losses to Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
So can Pant and Karthik both play in the same XI? Former India batsman Gautam Gambhir doesn’t think so, because then, as he explains, India will be a bowler short and they can’t rely on Pandya as the fifth bowler, which we learnt in the Asia Cup.
“You can’t do that. If you do that, you will miss out on a sixth bowler and you will not go into the World Cup with five bowlers. You need to have a backup. Unless you drop someone like Suryakumar Yadav, or KL Rahul has a bad tournament.. you can push Rishabh Pant to open the batting. Otherwise, I don’t see both of these players in the middle-order,” said Gambhir on Star Sports in a virtual press conference.
Gambhir picks Rishabh Pant to play ahead of Karthik
So then who should it be, Pant or Karthik? For Gambhir, the two-time IPL winning skipper with KKR, it should be Pant who should get the nod. Gambhir explains that Karthik’s role is limited to the death-overs while Pant can bat for longer and impact the match.
“To start with, Rishabh Pant. Because I have said it in the past as well, you don’t pick a T20 player only to play 10-12 balls. There is no guarantee that he is going to win you games. And Dinesh Karthik, unfortunately, has shown no interest in batting in the top-5. Your wicketkeeper has to be able to bat in the top-5 and Rishabh Pant has that quality to bat at any number for that matter.
“I will definitely have Rishabh Pant in my batting order. I don’t believe in the notion that you need a left-hander in the middle-order. That’s not the criteria, especially in a side like India. The criteria should be the ability to win a game, and Rishabh Pant has that. So yeah, Pant to start with at no.5, Hardik Pandya at 6, Axar at 7 and see if you want to Ashwin at 8, followed by three seamers,” explaining his opinion at length, Gambhir concluded.
India squad for ICC T20 World Cup 2022:
Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul (vc), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant (wk), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Hardik Pandya, R. Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Arshdeep Singh.
Reserves: Mohammed Shami, Shreyas Iyer, Ravi Bishnoi, Deepak Chahar