Dinesh Karthik or Rishabh Pant? Rohit Sharma says, 'I obviously wanted...' after Australia T20I series
Rohit Sharma said that selecting the right-handed Karthik or the left-handed Pant in the playing XI or picking both of them will depend of the situation the team finds itself in
Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant both are selected for the T20 World Cup 2022 just like the recent T20I series against Australia. The big question which still haunts the Indian dressing room is which player is suitable for their strong batting lineup. The idea was clear when the Tamil Nadu wicketkeeper was selected, his objective was to finish the game whereas Pant was considered more as a floating batter. However, Team India captain did admit that things did not go to plan as he was hoping to give both players more time than they got ahead the T20 World Cup 2022.
Rohit Sharma admitted that both of them did not get enough time -- especially Karthik -- and both of them need more game time. Sharma also said that selecting the right-handed Karthik or the left-handed Pant in the playing XI or picking both of them will depend of the situation the team finds itself in.
Following India's strong batting lineup in the Asia Cup 2022 and the Australia series at home, Dinesh Karthik has certainly not played enough cricket he himself or his skipper Rohit Sharma hoped for. Don't misunderstand the line above, it is a good thing that Karthik was not needed but there is no coming back if India get into a tricky situation in Australia later this year in the World Cup.
"It depends on the situation. I obviously wanted these guys to have a number of games under their belt before the World Cup. When we went to the Asia Cup, both these guys were in the fray to play all the games or whenever there is an opportunity or if there is a tactical matchup, we can bring in those guys. But I just feel that Dinesh needs a little more game time, so does Pant."
"Honestly speaking Pant needs some game time as well. But looking at how this series was important for me to just stick to that consistent batting lineup," said Sharma during the post-match press conference after India defeated Australia by six wickets in the third T20I here on Sunday to win the series 2-1.
Karthik was picked for all three matches against Australia but did not get enough time to bat. He faced five balls in the first match at Mohali and scored six runs. He faced two balls in the second T20I in Nagpur and blasted a six and four to seal victory for India.
In the third match at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium at Uppal, the 37-year-old from Tamil Nadu faced only 1 ball and remained not out with one run.
Sharma said they are flexible in their approach to batting and will take a call on whom to play depending on the situation.
"We have said that we want to be flexible in our batting, so if the situation or if the thing demands that we need a left-hander, we will bring in a left-hander, if we need a right-hand, we will continue to do that. But I still feel Dinesh in this series hardly got to bat maybe just three balls, so that's not enough time.
"But we will try and manage those guys pretty carefully. I do understand they need game time before the World Cup but there are only 11 players you can play, unfortunately so we just have to look after everyone," the skipper added. (With IANS inputs)