Rohit Sharma is the Indian captain at present and has to at times make some tough calls, like the one to choose between Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik for the playing eleven.
Ever since the squad for the World Cup which will be held in Australia has been announced, the biggest question that has been on the mouths of anyone and everyone who is a fan of the Indian side has been- Rishabh Pant or Dinesh Karthik?, Dinesh Karthik or Rishabh Pant. Both have their fair share of supporters that they should be in the side, while some believe that there is place for both of them in the playing 11, and not just one or the other. Both of these keepers have been on the opposite ends of the spectrum as far as their form is concerned. While Dinesh Karthik has found T20 cricket very much to his liking, Rishabh Pant has mightily struggled in the recent past in a format many expected him to dominate.
Both of these guys have fixed roles in the side as well, and both have seemed to wholeheartedly accepted that. While Karthik has been appointed the designated finisher of the side, the one who comes in the last 5 overs and starts thinking them right from the word go, giving the side massive impetus, and also the difference between an under-par and a competitive score. Pant, on the other hand, is the proverbial jack of all trades: the floater, who will be sent on as and when the situation demands him to go. However, the problem seems to be much more than just their position: it has been the fact that none of them have got the opportunity to play that much, inspite of being in the side.
Dinesh Karthik, especially, has barely played a few balls in the last 6 games. He has definitely played way less than he or his captain had envisioned. Now don’t get this wrong, this is a good thing in hindsight that Karthik is not required every time to provide the rescue act for the Men in Blue. But in a crunch situation, the last thing India would want is getting an undercooked Karthik in a situation where he will have to go berserk immediately, when he has barely hit a ball in anger. That is a scenario that the Indians would be praying to desperately avoid in the World Cup.
Speaking about this situation, skipper Rohit Sharma had a very philosophical and balanced opinion on the seemingly never-ending flux between the playing time of both supremely talented keeper-batsmen. While he did admit that both of them have suffered from lack of playing time in the recent past, including the Australian series, he also stressed in the fact that both of them will be selected in different games depending on the situation and the strength of the opponents, meaning that the position of both is still in limbo.
Speaking about the situation in depth, Rohit said, “Depends on the situation. Obviously wanted these guys to have a number of games under their belt before the T20 World Cup in Australia. When we went to the Asia Cup, both these guys were in the fray to play all the games. Or whenever there is an opportunity or if there is a tactical matchup, we can bring in those guys. But I just honestly feel that Dinesh does need a little more game time. However, the situation is similar for both and so does Pant.”
“Honestly speaking Pant needs some game time as well. But looking at how this series was important for me to just stick to that consistent batting lineup,” said Sharma during the post-match press conference after India defeated Australia by six wickets in the third T20I here on Sunday to win the series 2-1.