File image of Dinesh Karthik and Rohit Sharma© AFP
India skipper Rohit Sharma wants to give wicketkeeper batter Dinesh Karthik more time in the middle before the team heads Down Under for the T20 World Cup next month. India have been alternating between Karthik and Rishabh Pant in their playing XI. While the young keeper was given the nod ahead of the veteran player in the Asia Cup, Karthik was picked for all three matches against Australia. “I wanted both of these guys to have a number of games under their belt before the World Cup. When we went to the Asia Cup both of these guys were in the fray to play all games,” Rohit said at the post-match press conference after India clinched the three-match series against Australia on Sunday.
“But I just feel that Dinesh needs a little more game time. He hardly got to bat (this series). Just maybe three balls. So that’s not enough time,” Rohit added.
Karthik faced seven balls in total against Australia, while Pant played only one game where he did not get a chance to bat.
“Pant also needs game time obviously. But looking at how this series was it was important for me to just stick to that consistent batting lineup.” India take on South Africa for a three-match T20I series, starting Wednesday and Rohit said Karthik and Pant’s inclusion in the playing xi will depend upon the situation.
“I don’t know what we’re gonna do against South Africa. We just need to go and see their bowling, what sort of bowling lineup they’ll play with, and who are the best guys for us who can handle that bowling lineup. It all depends on that.
“We want to be flexible in our batting. So if the situation or if the thing demands that we need a left-hander, we will bring in a left-hander if we need a right-hander, we will continue to do that.
“But we’ll try and manage those guys pretty carefully. I do understand that they need game time before the World Cup but there are only 11 players you can play, unfortunately.”
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