Rohit Sharma, the captain of India, said last week that his playing XI for the T20 World Cup in 2022 is set. He doesn’t believe in making “last-minute” changes. People are still talking about India’s possible playing XI for the big match against Pakistan and the other group games in the tournament.
Most of the discussion is about the third fast bowler and the first-choice wicketkeeper. On Friday, former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir answered both questions, but he gave captain Rohit Sharma a strong warning.
Two days before the start of India’s World Cup campaign at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Gambhir told Zee that Rishabh Pant would be a better batsman than Dinesh Karthik.
“In my starting XI, Axar Patel should start at No. 7, Rishabh Pant at No. 5, and Hardik Pandya at No. 6. But Dinesh Karthik will play based on what we’ve seen in the warm-up games. However, a player is not chosen merely to play 10 balls. Choose a guy who can bat at No. 5 or No. 6. Dinesh Karthik hasn’t, however, indicated that he does. In Australia, if you lose early wickets, you may have to put in Axar Patel early because you wouldn’t want to expose Hardik early. He and the team management have made it clear that they intend for him to bat just in the final 2-3 overs. For this reason, Pant was chosen for my starting XI. But once again, it won’t happen,” he said.
He said that Karthik has shown that he only wants to play as a finisher, while Pant has more options as a batsman. He also said that India wouldn’t have many options if they chose Karthik because the right-hander can only play in the “slog overs.”
Gambhir also thinks that Mohammed Shami, who came in for an injured Japsrit Bumrah, should be India’s top pacer.
“You’ll have to play with three pacers. Mohammed Shami should be picked first, before Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh, or Harshal Patel. Hardik Pandya will be the fourth seamer and the sixth bowler option. Shami’s best quality is that he is very good with both new and old balls. We all saw how good he is with the old ball in the match against Australia. So Shami is first. One of Bhuvneshwar and Arshdeep should be picked. Harshal should be chosen because he has some experience bowling in the death overs,” he added.
Gambhir’s playing XI: Rohit, Rahul, Virat, Surya, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Harshal Patel, Shami, Chahal, Arshdeep