The T20 World Cup squad for India includes both wicketkeepers Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik, but it remains to be seen if there is room for both to play in the starting lineup. Dinesh Karthik was chosen over Pant by the squad management for the opening T20I matchup with Australia. However, it was criticised for not sending Karthik after the fourth wicket fell in the fourteenth over. Adam Gilchrist, a former Australia wicketkeeper and hitter, has stated that both Pant and Karthik will play in his selection.
He added that Pant was an “essential” for the Indian starting lineup. “The dare of Rishabh Pant and the courage for him, the way in which he takes on bowling attacks. I think he’s got to be a must in that Indian line-up. They can play together, but I think Rishabh Pant has definitely got to be in there,” the official website of ICC quoted Fox commentator Gilchrist as saying.
“It’ll be interesting to see if they can both play in the same team. I think they can. What they bring to a team, the versatility of Dinesh Karthik, he can play at the top of the order, he can, as he has done more so later in his career, be in the middle and late overs to finish. He has a really nice touch game,” he stated further.
In 58 T20 Internationals, Pant scored 934 runs at an average of 23.94 and a strike rate of 126.21. The left-handed batter hasn’t exactly performed as well in the shortest format as was anticipated, though. On the strength of some impressive performances for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the Indian Premier League, Karthik received a call-up into the Indian team earlier this year (IPL).