Pant vs Karthik: Cheteshwar Pujara Gives His Verdict On India’s Selection Dilemma Ahead Of PAK Clash
Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik (Image Source: Twitter)

New Delhi: Team India is set to take on Pakistan in their Asia Cup 2022 opener at the Dubai International Stadium. Ahead of the much anticipated blockbuster clash, Rohit Sharma and coach Rahul Dravid face a selection dilemma. Dinesh Karthik has been exceptional for India in recent times and deserves a place in the team, but with Rishabh Pant available, India need to make a tough call and drop one of the two stalwarts.

India Test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara in an interview with ESPNcricinfo gave his verdict on the issue and said that if India needs a finisher, Karthik should play ahead of Rishabh Pant. “It’s a big headache for the team management as both (Pant and Karthik) are doing really well in T20 format. The call is whether you want someone to bat at No.5 or you want a finisher who can bat at No. 6 or 7,” Pujara said on ESPNcricinfo T20 Time:out.

“So, I would say, if you want someone at No. 5, Rishabh Pant is a better choice. But if you want to a have a batting line-up with a very good finisher who is likely to play 10 or 20 balls and give you 40-50 runs, I think DK (Karthik) is the better option.” The veteran batter added, “Personally, I think, knowing the team management (and) knowing how things work around the team, I would think they might go with Pant because he is a left-hander and gives the team a bit of balance with left-right combination.”

Pujara further said that India need to play Suryakumar Yadav and should not drop him to accommodate both Pant and Karthik in the team. “Surya is one of our top T20 players, so I would definitely want him in the side because he can he is someone who has done really well for Mumbai Indians (in IPL). Whenever I’ve seen him at No. 4, he has done exceptionally well.

“So, I don’t think the team management will leave him out. If Rishabh and Karthik both have to play then I think you have to drop one of the top-order (batters), which is impossible. So, I don’t think both can make the playing XI,” said Pujara.