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Gautam Gambhir suggests playing Rishabh Pant over Dinesh Karthik in the upcoming T20I series against Australia

In the Asia Cup 2022, India picked Karthik over Pant in their opening match against Pakistan.

Rishabh Pant and Gautam Gambhir

Former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir has preferred Rishabh Pant over Dinesh Karthik in India’s playing XI for the upcoming three-match T20I series against Australia at home. In the Asia Cup 2022, India picked Karthik over Pant in the first two matches. But later gave chances to the youngster in the remaining matches.

Pant has failed to give impactful performances in his 58-match long T20I career as he only has three half centuries to his name. On the other hand, Dinesh Karthik has made a roaring comeback to the Indian team on the back of his stupendous performances in the Indian T20 League, earlier, this year. Gambhir picked Pant as he opined that he can bat anywhere in the eleven whereas DK can only play the role of a finisher.

“To start off with (in the series), Rishabh Pant. Because I have said it in the past as well, you don’t pick a T20 player in your playing eleven only to play 10-12 balls. There is no guarantee/surety that he is going to win you games. Dinesh Karthik, unfortunately, has shown no interest in batting in the top five,” said Gambhir while replying to a query from IANS in the virtual press conference organised by Star Sports.

“Your wicket-keeper has to be able to bat in the top five and Rishabh Pant has that quality to bat at any number for that matter, number three, four, five,” Gambhir added.

When asked if the team could play both Pant and Karthik in the eleven, the southpaw dismissed the idea saying that it hampers the position of the sixth bowler in the team.

“You can’t do that. If you do that, you will miss out on a sixth bowler and you would not go into the World Cup with only five genuine bowlers. You need to have a backup. Unless you drop someone like a Suryakumar Yadav, or KL Rahul has a bad tournament… and you can start with Rishabh Pant opening the batting,” Gambhir further said.

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