Last week in the conference post the photo-shoot sessions, Indian captain Rohit Sharma revealed that he wasn’t an ardent believer in making last-minute subs unless it’s an emergency. This is a clear indicator of the fact that Team India will be most likely be going in with the same team that ruled supreme over Australia and England back home. This also probably settles the debate between Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant, especially with the former belting out some serious heat when the team needed him.
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However, Gautam Gambhir isn’t a particular fan Dinesh Karthik and time and time again has made his intentions very clear that he wants Rishabh Pant on the team. Gambhir was assertive in his expression that picking Karthik would restrict India’s batting unit given the fact that Karthik is a specialist and his versatility is a huge question mark for the Men in Blue.
Talking to Zee, Gambhir said, “In my playing XI, Rishabh Pant should play at No.5, Hardik Pandya at no.6, and Axar Patel at no.7. But what we have seen in the practice matches, Dinesh Karthik will play. But a player is not picked to play just 10 balls. You should pick a player so that he can bat at No.5 or 6. But Dinesh Karthik has not shown that intention. He and the team management have show the intention that he will bat only in the last 2-3 overs and that can be dangerous because in Australia, if you lose early wickets, you might have to send in Axar Patel early because you also wouldn’t want to expose Hardik early. That is why I picked Pant in my playing XI. But again that won’t happen.”
He also opined on the area of the third pacer which is another major debate about whom should India play in their ranks, especially with two cardinally conflicting questions, one of which that says, Shami’s match fitness is still a concern while the other states Harshal has been India’s most expensive bowler in 2022.
Gautam Gambhir concluded by saying, “You will have to play with three pacers. Mohammed Shami should be picked first, before Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh and Harshal Patel. Hardik Pandya will be the fourth seamer and the sixth bowling option. The quality Shami has bas…we know he is very effective with the new ball, but with the old ball, which we all saw in the match against Australia. So Shami first. One between Bhuvneshwar and Arshdeep should be picked. Harshal should be picked because he does have some experience bowling in the death.”