'We need Pant now. I felt Karthik would get the job done but...': Kapil Dev ahead of India vs South Africa World Cup tie
Ahead of India's fixture against South Africa in Perth on Sunday, former captain Kapil Dev believes that Pant needs to get a look-in given Karthik's questionable wicket-keeping.
Rishabh Pant's absence from India's Playing XI in the two matches of the T20 World Cup is one that has been heavily debated. Against Pakistan and then South Africa, India went in with Dinesh Karthik as their wicketkeeper batter, with Pant getting benched. But ahead of the fixture against South Africa in Perth on Sunday, former India captain Kapil Dev believes that Pant needs to get a look-in given Karthik's questionable wicket-keeping.
Karthik has been on a role ever since the IPL 2022 for RCB, and from the time he made his India comeback, the 37-year-old veteran wicketkeeper has played certain memorable knocks for India, en route to becoming its designated 'finisher' in the team. However, Karthik succumbed to the rising pressure in the Pakistan game and made a couple of errors while keeping against the Netherlands, which is why Kapil wants DK replaced by Pant, while pointing out how India can benefit having a left-hander in the middle order.
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"I want to say that since we have Rishabh Pant, now is the time India need him. It felt as if Dinesh Karthik would get the job done, but factoring in the wicketkeeping as well, I feel that if India have that left-hander option in the team, this team would look complete," Kapil said on ABP News.
Another player whose place in India's Playing XI has been questioned in KL Rahul. In fact, there have been voices that want Pant replacing Rahul at the top of the order given the opening batter's two low scores against Pakistan and Netherlands. But Kapil has backed the Indian opener, suggesting him to bide his time in the Powerplay and then explode and switch gears accordingly.
"He is a very neat cricketer. If you look at his batting, he doesn't appear to be struggling. He gets out and has in fact, played on twice or thrice. I want him to score runs because it is really important for him to score. Some players are told not to play fast. He can take time initially because he can easily accelerate as and when needed. I want him to play patiently, play the first 8-10 overs, and then when he gets an idea what total is best on the pitch, then go for it," mentioned Kapil.