Former India opener Gautam Gambhir made a strong remark regarding the Dinesh Karthik vs Rishabh Pant debate after the squad for the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 was announced. While there were no major surprises with India’s 15-member squad, questions still remain over the probable playing XI. The big debate is who will be India’s designated wicket-keeper with Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik competing for just one spot.
Gautam Gambhir has stated that there is no way both Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant can play together in the playing XI as you need a sixth bowling option.
Speaking to Star Sports in a virtual press conference, Gambhir outright stated, “You can’t do that. If you do that, you will miss out on a sixth bowler and you will not go into the World Cup with five bowlers. You need to have a backup. Unless you drop someone like Suryakumar Yadav, or KL Rahul has a bad tournament. You can push Rishabh Pant to open the batting. Otherwise, I don’t see both of these players in the middle-order.”
Gambhir votes for Rishabh Pant owing to his match-winning qualities
When asked to pick between the two, Gambhir dismissed the notion that a left-hander is needed but backed Pant as he is a match-winner. The 40-year-old also stated that a player like Karthik cannot play just for 10-12 balls as there is no guarantee he can get the team over the finishing line.
“To start with, Rishabh Pant. Because I have said it in the past as well, you don’t pick a T20 player only to play 10-12 balls. There is no guarantee that he is going to win you games. And Dinesh Karthik, unfortunately, has shown no interest in batting in the top-5. Your wicketkeeper has to be able to bat in the top-5 and Rishabh Pant has that quality to bat at any number for that matter,” Gambhir concluded.