One of the biggest selection headache for Team India going into the crucial match against Bangladesh in the T20 World Cup, pertains to Dinesh Karthik and his form in the tournament. There has been a growing criticism over his batting especially after he struggled to a 15-ball six against South Africa, a match which India had lost eventually. Veterans and experts have hence called for an inclusion of Rishabh Pant in his stead. And former India cricketer Madan Lal has joined the bandwagon as he teared apart both captain Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid over their stance on Pant.
India have been clear with their approach in terms of wicketkeeping since Asia Cup. They have backed Karthik for the role in place of Pant, who offers versatility and bring variety to the batting line-up. However, amid Karthik’s concerning knock against Proteas, many have demanded for the veteran to be benched and go with Pant, who can be used as an opener as well.
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Madan, in his conversation with India Today ahead of the match against Bangladesh in Adelaide, has been vocal about Pant’s selection. He has rather been adamant in expressing that the youngster has to be in the XI irrespective of India’s stance over Karthik. The 1983 World Cup-winning player also lashed out at Rohit and Dravid for neglecting a “match-winner” like Pant.
“Availability chaahe DK ki ho ya naa ho, main nehi maanta, mera khayal hai ki Rishabh Pant ko khilana chaiye. Aur agar usko apko khilana hai toh usse aap hausla dijiye. Itna bara batsman hai aur aap toss ke tarah upr niche kar rahe hai. Woh to khiladi hai, uska toh atmavishwas jayega hi. Sabko pata hai ki woh kitna bara match winner hai. Pant ko khilana hi parega chaahe DK available ho ya na ho (Whether Dinesh Karthik is available or not, Pant has to play. And give him that encouragement. He is such a big batsman and you are just tossing him up and down like a coin. He is bound to lose his confidence. We all know he is a match-winner. So, Pant has to play, whether DK is there or not),” he said.
India will play against Bangladesh on Wednesday, a match that will decide their fate for the semis.
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