Both Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant have been unconvincing in the opportunities given so far in the T20 WC. For the India vs England semi-final, Ravi Shastri wants Pant to take up the wicket-keeper’s role over Karthik.
“Dinesh is a lovely team player. But when it comes to a game against England or New Zealand, just seeing their attack, I think you need a robust left-hander who can turn it on, and is a match-winner and a left-hander,” Shastri told the broadcaster Star Sports after India’s victory over Zimbabwe on Sunday.
Highlighting Pant’s impressive knocks against England, Shastri said: “He has done well against England. He recently won a match on his win against England, a one-day game. I would go with Pant, not just because he played here, but because of the X-factor angle, he can bring to the semi-final.”
Shastri also said that the fact that Pant is a left-hander, could also prove to be an important factor for India because of the short square boundaries in Adelaide, where the match will be held on Thursday.
“You are playing in Adelaide, short boundaries square, another reason why a left-hander should be there to disrupt the England attack. If you have too many right-handers, there is a sense of sameness to it. England have a nice attack, a varied attack of left-handers and right-handers.
“You need a left-hander in your team, who can be dangerous and win you a game in the back overs even if you have lost 3 or 4 wickets at the top,” Shastri asserted.
While Pant failed to perform against ZImbabwe, Karthik has been poor with the bat in the other games, scoring 1, 6, and 7 in the three matches where he got the opportunity to bat.