Dinesh Karthik might edge Rishabh Pant in the playing XI against Pakistan© BCCI
One of the finest cricketers in the game, Rishabh Pant hasn’t had the best of year from a personal perspective in limited-overs cricket. When it comes to T20I cricket, Pant’s spot has been overtaken by Dinesh Karthik whose finishing prowess has been duly rewarded by the team management. A T20 World Cup-winner, Suresh Raina feels Pant will come back into the playing XI one or two games into the tournament. In a way, Raina has hinted that that the left-handed wicket-keeper batter might not get into the playing XI against Pakistan.
“He’s an important player. He has done it (made runs previously) in Australia. He’s scored hundreds there and won the Gabba Test for us. He’s an x-factor because if you see from 1-6, there’s no leftie batter,” Raina said in a chat with Zee News.
“So, how they are going to use him, it’s very important. He’s a very good player and knows how to bat in pressure situations. Hopefully, the management must be thinking about how to bring him in. So, in one or two games, you could see him playing again,” the 2011 World Cup-winner added.
Pant and Karthik can both also get into the playing XI but such a line-up might devoid the Indian team of playing a genuine all-rounder.
On further being asked about Pant’s batting, Raina said that the wicket-keeper batter can be an X-factor as a left-hander in the team. But, it’s about how Rahul Dravid and Rohit Sharma plan to use him.
“It depends on where his spot is coming from. It’s all upon Rahul bhai and Rohit, how they want to use him in the eleven. You just need to have a leftie batsman as an x-factor. I hope they will do it,” he said.
India will open the tournament against Pakistan on October 23. In all likeliness, Pant will be on the bench for the match.
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