'Karthik, Team India haven't shown that intention: Gambhir explains why DK over Pant is a 'dangerous' choice for IND XI
The debate primarily pertains to the two areas - the third pacer and the first-choice wicketkeeper. Former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir on Friday answered both, but with a stern warning to captain Rohit Sharma.
India captain Rohit Sharma revealed last week that his playing XI for the 2022 T20 World Cup is set as he doesn't believe in “last-minute” preparations. Yet the debate on India's possible playing XI, for the blockbuster tie against Pakistan and for the subsequent group matches in the tournament, continues. The debate primarily pertains to the two areas - the third pacer and the first-choice wicketkeeper. Former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir on Friday answered both, but with a stern warning to captain Rohit Sharma.
Speaking to Zee two days before the start of India's campaign in the World Cup at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Gambhir opined that Rishabh Pant would be a better option than Dinesh Karthik in terms of batting explaining that the veteran has shown the intention to play only as a finisher while the youngsters has more versatility as a batter. He also argued saying that picking Karthik would limit India's options if they lose early wickets as the right-hander can only play in the slog overs.
“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. He and the team management have show 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 explained.
Gambhir also feels that Mohammed Shami, who replaced injured Japsrit Bumrah in the line-up, should be the first-choice pacer for India.
“You will have to play with three pacers. Mohammed Shami should be picked first, before Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh and Harshal Patel. Hardik Pandya will be the fourth seamer and the sixth bowling option. The quality Shami has bas...we know he is very effective with the new ball, but with the old ball, which we all saw in the match against Australia. So Shami first. One between Bhuvneshwar and Arshdeep should be picked. Harshal should be picked because he does have some experience bowling in the death,” he added.