Ind vs Pak T20 World Cup 2022: Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik can both play in THESE positions, says Sunil Gavaskar
Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar believes there is a place for young wicketkeeper batter Rishabh Pant in the final XI although he didn’t play any part in India’s official warm-up game against Australia earlier this week.
Team India will open their campaign in the ICC men's T20 World Cup 2022 against arch-rivals Pakistan at the sold-out Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Sunday (October 23). The question of every cricket fan's mind is what will be the final playing XI for skipper Rohit Sharma against Babar Azam's side.
Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar believes there is a place for young wicketkeeper batter Rishabh Pant in the final XI although he didn't play any part in India's official warm-up game against Australia earlier this week. India preferred to play with Dinesh Karthik as the specialist keeper much like they did in the Asia Cup 2022 opener in Dubai last month.
The 'Greatest Rivalry' resumes when India square off against Pakistan in their tournament opener of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup on October 23rd, 2022. Both teams will be looking to get their World Cup campaign off to a flyer and with the excitement around the game building, fans and experts are deliberating tactics, line-ups and bowling permutations which India and Pakistan can deploy in the game.
Speaking exclusively on Star Sports show 'Cricket Live', Sunil Gavaskar spoke about how India's middle order is going to line-up with both wicket-keepers Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant in good touch and vying for a spot in the starting 11. "It's just that maybe, if they decide to go with six bowlers, with Hardik Pandya being the sixth bowler, then he (Pant) may not be able to find a place, but if they decide to go with Hardik Pandya as a fifth bowler, then Rishabh Pant has an opportunity to bat at number six and Karthik maybe at number seven, followed by the four bowlers.
"So, that could well happen, we just have to wait and see. They would certainly want a left hander in the middle, but looking at the top four, who are in such good form, you sometimes say to yourself, 'How many overs Rishabh Pant is going to get in? Is he going to get three or four overs? And for three or four overs, is Karthik or Rishabh better?' So, these are all the situations they will look at and they'll take a call on this," Gavaskar said.
Gavaskar further spoke on Pakistan pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi's return to the squad after injury and how significantly the Pakistan fielding unit has improved. "I think that's what their main concern was, about his fitness and how he will shape up. And certainly, in the two overs that he bowled, he's shown that he's back to full fitness. So, clearly that is one headache gone.
"I think with their catching, they were much better than what we saw against England. Their ground fielding was very good. So, these are two aspects that was worrying them and they have shown improvement in those areas. So, I don't think they'll have any doubts when they'll take on India on Sunday," Gavaskar added.