Saba Karim has given his verdict about one of India’s selection headaches around Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik in the forthcoming Asia Cup. Karim has remarked that India can’t play both Karthik and Pant at the same time, and if he has to choose between them, his preference would be Pant.
The 15th edition of the Asia Cup is set to begin on August 27, and India will play their first game in the tournament a day after, against Pakistan in Dubai. There have been plenty of conversations buzzing here and there regarding how India’s playing X willI look like as everyone is aware of the fact that Rahul Dravid and co. will possibly use same template in the next T20 World Cup as well, scheduled to be played in Australia from October 16 onwards.
One of the debate around India’s selection would be regarding Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Kathik. Karthik has been performing brilliantly since IPL 2022 with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) while Pant has earned the label of India’s all-format wicket-keeper. Thus, with the likes of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, and Hardik Pandya already in the mix, it would be tough for both Pant and Karthik to make the cut.
Like the last statement, former India selector Saba Karim feels the same as well. In his recent conversation with SPORTS18’s daily sports news show 'SPORTS OVER THE TOP,' Karim asserted India, according to him, won’t field two wicket-keepers and his preference will be Pant ahead of Karthik.
"Well, in my 11, I could’ve only picked 1 wicketkeeper batter, because if I’m getting in KL Rahul and Virat Kohli that leaves me with the choice of picking only one player between Dinesh Kartik and Rishabh Pant. I’ve gone ahead with Rishabh Pant because he’s such an X Factor for India and I can see him delivering some stellar performances even this Asia Cup,” Karim said at the SPORTS18’s daily sports news show 'SPORTS OVER THE TOP.’
Further, Karim explained why India can not have the option to play with two wicket-keepers at the same time in the Asia Cup. Karim highlighted that India will have Hardik as their sixth bowling option and a star-studded top four who are no longer a part-time bowler.
“I am also preferring a combination which allows me to play 5 wicket-taking bowlers. On top of that, I have Hardik Pandya as my 6th bowling option. So, if I go in with this kind of combination, then I don’t have space for 2 wicket-keepers,” Karim added.