Dravid lifts the lid on Pant vs Karthik for India’s first-choice wicketkeeper

Updated on Sep 04, 2022 07:06 PM IST

Is Karthik India’s primary wicketkeeper-batter for the T20 World Cup? India head coach Rahul Dravid lifted the lid over the suspense on Saturday ahead of India’s Super 4 game against Babar Azam’s men in Dubai.

Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik; Rahul Dravid

Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant have played together in quite a few matches for India in the T20I format since the veteran’s return to the Indian team. India had managed to accommodate both as few key players kept missing out the international assignments. But the question on who remains India’s first-choice wicketkeeper in the T20I format, with the World Cup nearing, was already brewing. And it left many a veteran cricketers and experts shocked when Pant was rested to make way for Karthik in India’s Asia Cup opener against Pakistan last week. So is Karthik India’s primary wicketkeeper-batter for the T20 World Cup? India head coach Rahul Dravid lifted the lid over the suspense on Saturday ahead of India’s Super 4 game against Babar Azam’s men in Dubai.

Karthik’s resurgence in T20 format as a finisher helped India in their assignments this summer given his style of batting fitting well with the team’s batting template. And he has proven his worth in those fixtures as a finisher which came amid Pant’s hot and cold run during the period.

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However, with India picking Karthik over Pant in the Pakistan ie last Sunday, many believed it to be the pecking order for the team going into the World Cup. But Dravid explained that such choices will be made based on conditions, brushing aside any talk of pecking order.

“There’s no first choice wicketkeeper in the side… We play according to the conditions, situation, opposition and what we feel is the best XI.

“There’s no such a thing as first choice playing XI for every single condition. That will vary. On that day against Pakistan, we felt Dinesh was the right choice for us,” he said in the pre-match presser.

India, however, played both Pant and Karthik against Hong Kong, although both dis not get their opportunities to bat.

“It’s very difficult to leave out anyone, but we are focused on picking the best XI. We have a little bit of squad culture in our side who believe that we have a very good squad of XV and anyone can play,” Dravid added.


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