Australia great throws weight behind Pant-Karthik debate, says young wicketkeeper-batter 'a must in Indian line-up'
The debate surrounding Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik has been raging since the time the latter re-ignited his career by evolving as a dashing finisher while the former suffered a steep decline in his form in the shortest format of the game. With T20 World Cup less than a month away, Team India has a tough decision to make: whether to play Pant and Karthik in the same XI or in case of choosing one wicketkeeper-batter, who should it be?
In the first T20I against Australia on September 20 (Tuesday), which India ended up losing by four wickets despite scoring 208/6 in 20 overs, Karthik got the nod ahead of Pant in the playing XI. The veteran batter couldn't make an impact and was dismissed for six runs off five balls. Karthik, who has been in and out of the playing XI, hasn't done justice to his pedigree in the last few innings. His scores in the last four outings read 6, 1*, 12, 6 and 7.
For his sheer "courage and dare", Rishabh Pant should be a part of India's starting XI during the T20 World Cup, feels former Australian great Adam Gilchrist. find
There has been a debate if it should be Pant or Dinesh Karthik in India's playing XI and it seemed that Gilchrist's vote of confidence is in favour of the much younger Delhi cricketer.
"The dare of Rishabh Pant and the courage in him, the way in which he takes on bowling attacks, I think he's got to be a must in that Indian line-up," Gilchrist was quoted as saying in an ICC release.
"They can play together, but I think Rishabh Pant has definitely got to be in there." India included both Pant and Karthik in the 15-member squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia but the former's underwhelming record in T20Is might go against him.
Pant has 934 runs in 58 T20Is at an average of 23.94 and a strike-rate of 126.21. But he hasn't quite enjoyed the success what was expected of him in this format unlike Test cricket where he is already an established star.
Add to it, Karthik has of late blossomed as a finisher, which could work in his favour.
But just like his former skipper Ricky Ponting, Gilchrist too feels that both the stumper batters can play together in the eleven.
"It'll be interesting to see if they can both play in the same team. I think they can. What they bring to a team … the versatility of Dinesh Karthik, he can play at the top of the order, he can, as he has done more so later in his career, be in the middle and late overs to finish. He has a really nice touch game," the former Australia wicketkeeper batter signed off.
(With PTI Inputs)