India’s senior wicket-keeper batter Dinesh Karthik has failed to live up to expectations in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia, scoring only 14 runs in four matches so far.
Karthik was dropped from India’s playing XI in their final league-stage fixture against Zimbabwe. Rishabh Pant was drafted into the team, replacing the Tamil Nadu keeper.
Pant, who was playing his first match of this World Cup, however also failed to deliver with the bat, scoring just three runs from five balls.
Rishabh Pant Will be an X-Factor – Ravi Shastri.
As team India is all set to take on England in the semi-final match on Thursday, November 10, the debate surrounding Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant has raged.
Meanwhile, former India head coach Ravi Shastri passed his verdict on the highly discussed topic as he backed Pant over Karthik for the semi-final game against England.
Keeping the England and New Zealand bowling attack in mind, Shastri said, having a left-handed batter in the Indian lineup will further bolster the batting attack of the Blues.
Speaking after India’s thumping win over Zimbabwe on Sunday, November 6, here’s what Shastri said-
“Dinesh is a lovely team player. But when it comes to a game against England or New Zealand, just seeing their attack, I think you need a robust left-hander, who can turn it on and a match-winner and a left-hander.”
“He has done well against England. He recently won a match on his win against England, a one-day game. I would go with Pant, not just because he played here, but because of the X-factor angle he can bring to the semi-final.”
India Needs a Left-hander in The Middle Order – Shastri
The former head coach of India further emphasised how Rishabh Pant can target the shorter boundaries and playing conditions in Adelaide Oval:
“You are playing in Adelaide, short boundaries square, another reason why a left-hander should be there to disrupt the England attack. If you have too many right-handers, there is a sense of sameness to it. England has a nice attack, a varied attack of left-handers and right-handers.”
“You need a left-hander in your team, who can be dangerous and win you a game in the back overs even if you have lost 3 or 4 wickets at the top,” Shastri concluded.