India’s preparations for the upcoming World Cup is in full swing. Almost everything is done except the only job of selecting the perfect 15-member squad.
Everyone thought that the squad which will play the upcoming Australia series will play the World Cup. But when the management announced the squad they missed a big name of Dinesh Karthik.
In place of Karthik, his like-a-like Rishabh Pant was preferred by the selection committee. The Karthik-Pant issue have raised new questions now. The more evident one is whether Pant is experienced enough to replace Karthik in the World Cup.
Pant has so far played 9 Tests and a handful of ODIs. While Karthik has been around the team for almost 10 years. However there are some ways by which both Karthik-Pant can play in the same team.
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Pant can play as opener
India still have four slots left in the World Cup squad. Those are the backup middle order batsman, a backup opener, an additional pacer, and an all-rounder. Vijay Shankar might have already sealed the spot of backup pacer and all-rounder.
As a result two spots still remain open. However Pant has been included as a backup wicketkeeper, which means his place is certain. This leaves the place of backup opener empty only.
But if Pant is selected as backup opener, backup keeper, and a backup middle order batsman? Pant is known to open innings with moderate success. He can act as a like-a-like for Shikhar Dhawan, who is also left-handed and aggressive. This way he can complement the right-handed and composed Rohit Sharma.
If one of the openers get injured or gets out of form, Pant can fit in as a backup opener. This reduces the importance of having another opener like Ajinkya Rahane or KL Rahul. As a result the slot of middle-order batsman remains empty.
Dinesh Karthik can perfectly fit in that role. The selectors have groomed him as a finisher in the past few months. Karthik can do the finisher’s job and can also lend some experience to the viable middle order.