File photo of Rishabh Pant and Rohit Sharma© BCCI
Ahead of India’s opening game of the T20 World Cup against Pakistan, former batter Gautam Gambhir says he would pick Rishabh Pant over Dinesh Karthik in the team’s playing XI. Karthik was given the nod ahead of Pant during the Asia Cup last month, as well as the home series’ against Australia and South Africa. While sharing his views on India’s playing, Gambhir said that he would pick Pant over the veteran wicketkeeper-batter, saying that Karthik hasn’t shown the intention to bat for long.
“In my playing XI, Rishabh Pant should play at No.5, Hardik Pandya at no.6, and Axar Patel at no.7. But what we have seen in the practice matches, Dinesh Karthik will play. But a player is not picked to play just 10 balls. You should pick a player so that he can bat at No.5 or 6. But Dinesh Karthik has not shown that intention,” Gambhir told Zee News.
However, Gambhir said the management will back Karthik, which he thinks he could prove “dangerous” for the team, bearing in mind the conditions on offer.
“He and the team management have shown the intention that he will bat only in the last 2-3 overs and that can be dangerous because in Australia, if you lose early wickets, you might have to send in Axar Patel early because you also wouldn’t want to expose Hardik early. That is why I picked Pant in my playing XI. But again that won’t happen,” he added.
India will take on Pakistan in their opening match on Sunday at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
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