In the first four games of the Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup 2022, the Rohit Sharma-led Team India chose the seasoned gloveman Dinesh Karthik as their wicketkeeper. Dinesh Karthik was brought in as a designated finisher. The Indian think tank decided to start Rishabh Pant in place of Karthik in the playing XI after India’s qualification for the semi-final round ahead of their final group game match against Zimbabwe.
The Indian southpaw, though, had a forgettable day at the workplace as he struggled for Team India in their final Super 12 match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Indian captain Rohit revealed that both Pant and Karthik are equal contenders to start for India in the high-profile match against England on Thursday. The match is in the semi-final round of the T20 World Cup.
On the eve of the second semi-final, famous Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh shared his thoughts on India’s selection conundrum and outlined why Pant should keep his spot in the starting XI. “I believe Dinesh Karthik will be passed over in favour of Rishabh Pant. He hasn’t been in the best of shape because they have seen DK. He hasn’t appeared as good as he did during the IPL. Of sure, he is a very talented and diligent player. But sadly, throughout this World Cup, things haven’t worked out for him. Unfortunately, he must now take a seat; nonetheless, I believe Pant will play, according to Harbhajan, who spoke to Star Sports.
A day before India’s semi-final match against the Jos Buttler-led team, Pant batted in the main nets while veteran wicketkeeper-batter Karthik was seen preparing in the indoor section. “They require a left-hander for the middle of the lineup. Pant joining the team for that purpose is another one. The team won’t change, and Pant will start ahead of DK. We had been debating earlier whether Chahal or Ashwin would play. That’s not going to happen, Rishabh will play, and that’s the only thing different “Harbhajan furthered.