Adam Gilchrist keeps faith in daring Rishabh Pant
For his sheer “courage and dare”, Rishabh Pant should be a part of India’s starting XI in next month’s T20 World Cup, feels Australian great Adam Gilchrist. There has been a debate if it should be Pant or Dinesh Karthik in India’s playing XI and it seemed that the former wicketkeeper’s vote of confidence is in favour of the much younger Delhi cricketer.
“The dare of Rishabh Pant and the courage in him, the way in which he takes on bowling attacks, I think he’s got to be a must in that Indian line-up,” Gilchrist was quoted as saying in an ICC release.
“They can play together, but I think Rishabh Pant has definitely got to be in there.” India have included both Pant and Karthik in the 15-member squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia but the 24-yearold’s underwhelming record in T20Is might go against him. Pant has 934 runs in 58 T20Is at an average of 23.94 and a strike-rate of 126.21.
But he hasn’t quite enjoyed the success expected of him in the format unlike in Test cricket, where he is already an established star. Add to it, the 37-year-old Karthik has of late blossomed as a finisher, which could work in his favour. But just like his former skipper Ricky Ponting, Gilchrist too feels that both the stumper-batters can play together in the XI.
“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,” the wicketkeeper-batter said.
Ponting, who has coached Pant in the IPL, believes fielding both the youngster and Karthik in the same side should be the way forward for Rohit Sharma’s team.
“The debate in the Indian cricketing circles has long been raging on who should be the designated wicketkeeper-batter in the side. While Karthik can boast about being an excellent finisher, Pant’s prodigious talent has seen him being backed by many,” Ponting wrote in his column.
“I actually think that India’s best team has both of these players. I don’t care if they are both keepers but I think their batting prowess is enough.”