Weighing in on the never-ending Dinesh Karthik–Rishabh Pant debate, batting legend Sunil Gavaskar on Monday picked a wicketkeeper-batter who might just be India’s ‘automatic choice’ for the 2022 edition of the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia. Despite being the only left-handed batter in India’s six batting slots, wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant has not been able to cement his place in the XI in the lead-up to the ICC T20 World 2022.
Known for his explosive batting style across all formats of the game, Pant didn’t feature in the Indian side for the recently concluded practice match between India and Australia at The Gabba. With an ice pack wrapped around his knee, an unavailable Pant was seen sitting on the sidelines while veteran Dinesh Karthik quite expectedly took the gloves.
ALSO READ: ‘Starc hitting him in the head…’: Richardson’s weird remark on bizarre Suryakumar Yadav dismissal in IND v AUS warm-up
Sharing his views about India’s playing XI in the build-up to the warm-up match at The Gabba, former India captain Gavaskar recalled Pant’s majestic knock against Australia in Brisbane. Pant’s batting heroics against the Baggy Greens had helped India in breaching Australia’s Gabba fortress during the 2020-2021 Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
“These matches will certainly give us an indication, this is where he created history, he and the Indian team were chasing over 330 in the 4th innings to win a series against Australia. So this is a ground where he will be happy to play on. Sadly there are no World Cup matches over here. But if he score runs here, if he bats well, if he gets the opportunity to bat and scores even a 20 or a quick 30, he becomes an automatic pick in your team,” Gavaskar told Star Sports.
Batting maestro Gavaskar also explained why Pant has an edge over Karthik when it comes to featuring in the Indian XI at the T20 World Cup. “Because as you said – a left-hander makes a difference to the opposition’s bowling, the opposition captain’s plan, all the field setting, and all the ground dimensions. All of that you take into play when you looking for the final XI. All of this you are taking into account. And if you’re a left-hander like Pant, who is batting well, then you pick him,” Gavaskar added.
After defeating Australia, Rohit-led Team India will meet Kane Williamson’s New Zealand in their final warm-up game on Wednesday. India start their Super 12 round against Pakistan on October 23 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.