IND T20 WC: Opening, No.5 or bench?

IND T20 WC: Opening, No.5 or bench?

Sinchan Saha

Modified Sep 20, 2022 3:48 PM IST

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The Indian team management must decide if they want to play both Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik in the playing XI or whether there is only room for one of these two as the wicketkeeper-batter ahead of the three-match T20I series against Australia. This year, Pant’s performance in the shortest format has not been fantastic, whereas Karthik has demonstrated his ability to stylishly end innings. Wasim Jaffer, a former Indian batter, stated that he would select Dinesh Karthik over Rishabh Pant for the opening T20I matchup with Australia.

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Rishabh Pant does not fit in at number 4 or 5, according to Jaffer, who also stated that leaving him out of the World Cup “would be the wisest thing.”

“They (India) need to figure out whether Rishabh Pant plays or not. The Indian thinktank has been thinking a lot about putting Rishabh Pant in. He has been brilliant and we have talked about it many times that in Test cricket and in the ODIs, he has played really series-winning, game-changing knocks, but that has not happened in T20 internationals or even in T20s,”

Jaffer said on ESPNcricinfo’s ‘T20 Timeout’.

“So I think India need to figure out whether they want to stick with Rishabh Pant in the top six or if they want to stick with Dinesh Karhitk, who has done really well since the IPL, whichever opportunity he has got. For me personally, Rishabh Pant does not fit in number 4 or 5. His best place probably is to open batting, which I don’t think will happen because KL, Rohit and Virat are going to occupy that 1-2-3. I feel leaving out Rishabh Pant for now in the World Cup will be the best thing.”

Further talking about Pant, Jaffer said

The 24-year-old found it difficult to elicit suggestions of his return to the top of the list. Pant has only briefly opened for India in T20Is, with at best mediocre success. But if he were to start at the top, vice-captain KL Rahul would lose his preferred opening position.

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Pant has not produced much in the shortest format this year; his highest score in that format was 52 against the West Indies in February 2022.
India squad for Australia T20I series: Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul (vc), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, R. Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Deepak Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav.