T20 World Cup: India need to decide between Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, says Saba Karim
T20 World Cup: Former India wicketkeeper-batter Saba Karim believes that the team must choose between keeping Rishabh Pant or Dinesh Karthik in the starting lineup.
Before the Men’s T20 World Cup, which will be held in Australia in October-November, India can use the Asia Cup, which begins on August 27 and will be played in the UAE. Since his return to T20I cricket in June, Karthik has been putting on the necessary finishing moves and has all but locked up the finisher position for the Indian team.
Karthik’s finishing role has recently benefited India, as evidenced by his 27-ball 55 on a difficult ground against South Africa in Rajkot and his unbeaten 19-ball 41 against the West Indies in Trinidad.
Apart from being used as an opener twice against England, Pant has had a mixed record. Pant’s highest score since the T20I series against South Africa in June. There he served as the interim captain, was 44 in the fourth T20I versus West Indies in Lauderhill, USA.
“I feel that to get the balance right, India has done well with five bowlers plus Hardik Pandya as a 6 bowling options. So would you like to break that kind of a combination and get in another bat at number 7 that is Dinesh Karthik at number 7? That means that you go in with Hardik Pandya the fifth bowler who is expected to bowl 4 overs, so that is another big call from the Indian team management.”
“So then if so that that may pose some issues for the Indian team management. Whatever I have seen from Rohit Sharma’s captaincy. I think he prefers to have five regular bowlers plus Hardik Pandya as their six bowling option. If that is the case then you need to decide between Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik,” said Karim on a show on Sports18.
Karim said that choosing whether to keep Pant or Karthik in the starting lineup will aid India in securing the fourth slot in T20Is.
“Yes, you better need to sort it out as soon as possible. But you know what, to fix the No. 4 slot or the number four position for specific player. We need to get the combination and balance of the side correct.”
“When I say this I mean they need to pick between Dinesh Kartik or Rishabh Pant. Once you decide on either of these player, it’ll get easy to sort in Suryakumar Yadav at number four.”
Karim has selected KL Rahul to open the batting alongside Rohit Sharma. Along with Suryakumar, Pandya, and Pant as his ideal four, five, and six-hole batsmen. Rahul last played in the IPL 2022 Eliminator on May 25 in Kolkata. Since then, he has not played in any competitive cricket matches. At Eden Gardens, his team, the debutant Lucknow Super Giants, defeated by Royal Challengers Bangalore by a score of 14 runs.
The five-match T20I series against South Africa at home in June then announced with Rahul serving as captain. However, a right groyne ailment on the eve of the series’ opening game in New Delhi prevented him from playing. Rahul also forced to cancel his tour of England due to the sports hernia surgery he underwent in Germany.
He was supposed to return for India’s T20I series against the West Indies. But due to a positive Covid-19 test before the travel. He left out of the Caribbean trip and the ODIs against Zimbabwe. Rahul now totally fit to play again for India in the shortest version of the game. As the T20 World Cup in Australia approaches.
“KL Rahul being the vice-captain, I look at him as an opener with Rohit Sharma. I look at Virat Kohli at number 3 and Suryakumar Yadav at number 4. But you know what, 4,5,6 has to be very flexible kind of a position. Because in a T20 format, you look at 4,5,6 who can finish games for you. And can also double up as a power hitter when required, can also stabilise the innings.”
“Those three batters at 4,5,6, my choice would be Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant. And you can move them around depending on the number of overs you left with. But KL Rahul in my opinion, should bat up the order with Rohit Sharma,” concluded Karim.