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India vs Australia: Rishabh Pant has ‘definitely got to be’ in Team India XI, says Adam Gilchrist – Firstcricket News, Firstpost


Weighing in on the Rishabh Pant vs Dinesh Karthik debate that Team India is currently sweating over in the shortest format, Australian wicketkeeping legend Adam Gilchrist firmly threw his weight behind Pant, calling him a “must in the Indian lineup”.

Indian cricket has witnessed a bit of a see-saw battle between Pant and Karthik for the wicketkeeper’s spot in the Indian T20 team ever since Karthik’s fabulous run in IPL 2022 for the Royal Challengers Bangalore. The Men in Blue alternately picked Pant and Karthik during the recent Asia Cup and in the first T20I against Australia in Mohali on Tuesday, the veteran Tamil Nadu gloveman was preferred.

“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,” Gilchrist told ICC.

With Hardik Pandya also roaring back to form in recent months and skipper Rohit Sharma showing preference for a spin-bowling all-rounder in Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel or Deepak Hooda, the Indian team cannot afford to play either Pant or Karthik as a pure batter in the shortest format. And with Karthik now considered the designated finisher in the lineup, Pant’s place in the XI has become even more doubtful.

“It will 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,” added Gilchrist, who excelled with the bat, especially as an ODI opener, besides with the gloves.

India take on Australia in the second match of the three-T20I series in Hyderabad on Friday with the series on the line and it remains to be seen if skipper Rohit Sharma and coach Rahul Dravid decide to give Pant another shot in the middle order or not.

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