T20 World Cup: Whether Rishabh Pant plays or not, Dinesh Karthik should be in India playing XI, says Shaminda Eranga | Cricket News


NEW DELHI: No one expected much from them, no one marked them as favourites, and they were not a star-studded team, but Sri Lanka stunned everyone by going on to win the Asia Cup, and Pakistan in the summit clash knocked around a fairy tale.
The road to the main draw of the continuous T20 World Cup however, it is a slightly tougher one for the Lankans. They failed to qualify directly for the Super 12 stage and have to play the first round, which is essentially a qualifying round to determine which four teams will join the top 8 that qualified directly for the main draw.
However, the Emerald Islanders were in for a rude shock in their opening Round 1 match, where minnows Namibia stunned the Dasun Shanaka-led side by 55 runs. The Lankans were bowled out for just 108, chasing a not very challenging 164.
The Lankans face UAE on Tuesday and then the Netherlands on Thursday in their next two Round 1 clashes as they eye a Super 12 berth.

Can they make another comeback and get their campaign back on track?
Interestingly, Sri Lanka hold the record for the most final appearances at the T20 World Cup, with three (2009, 2012 and 2014). They won the title in 2014, beating India in the final in Dhaka.
Shaminda Eranga, a nimble fast-medium bowler, who played 19 Tests, 19 ODIs and 3 T20Is for Sri Lanka between 2011 and 2016 before ending his career due to a nerve-related back injury, spoke exclusively to TimesofIndia.combefore the 2022 edition of the T20 World Cup officially started, talking about Sri Lanka’s World Cup title chances this time, India chasing their first T20 World Cup title since 2007, who he thinks are India’s key players in the mega tournament this times will be and much more.
Eranga, who now plays club cricket in Australia, made headlines when he took a wicket off the first ball he bowled on Test debut against Australia in Colombo in 2011. With this, he became the 15th bowler in Test history at that stage. cricket to take a wicket with his first ball.
He dismissed Shane Watson for 8 runs for that first wicket and then took a total of 5 wickets in that match which ended in a draw. Apart from Watson, the 36-year-old dismissed Michael Clarke, Michael Hussey, Brad Haddin and Trent Copeland.

Shaminda Eranga (AFP photo)
We haven’t seen much of you after 2016…
After 2016 I suffered an injury. My lower back had three types of injuries. So, I couldn’t recover from that. And it took almost two years to recover. This is the reason why I could not take my career forward and could not play. I was disappointed and frustrated. I have tried many medicines, doctors and physios. But all was in vain. I really wanted to get back to the international scene. That injury stopped my international career. Injuries are a part of a sports person’s life, especially for fast bowlers. I now live in South Australia. I now play club cricket there. I am happy.
Did you expect Sri Lanka to win the Asia Cup this time?
Sri Lanka has planned very well. Planning helped them. They played as a team; they were united and took every single step together. They quietly moved towards the goal (title) and achieved it. Has anyone marked them as favorites? I do not think so. Playing as a team took them to the coveted title. They played together, won together and lost together. When they lost the game, they were still united. Honestly, I believed in them. I knew they could turn things around.


(Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)
Sri Lanka have played most finals at the T20 World Cup. Do you think they have a chance to win the title this time?
T20 is a funny game. The match turns into two overs. That changes when you lose two quick wickets. Don’t underestimate Sri Lanka at the T20 World Cup. Asian conditions were different. T20 World Cup will be played in Australia so Sri Lanka will play in different conditions altogether. This presents a great challenge for them. But again, don’t underestimate them. They can do wonders on their day. We can trust Sri Lanka. They won the Asia Cup without any star players. Let us not forget that. You cannot judge anyone based on rankings or mark as favourites, especially in T20 cricket. This is the T20 World Cup, be ready for surprises. A small team can get under the skin of the No.1 team. It’s just a matter of a few shots and a few wickets.
The last time India won a T20 World Cup was in 2007 under MS Dhoni‘s leadership. Do you think Rohit Sharma will India be able to lead to victory again?
Yes, Rohit can. He is a good leader. Having star players on the teams doesn’t mean they won’t make mistakes. In T20 cricket, one bad hit will cost the team a wicket. Because every single batsman will try to hit anywhere in the park. Bowlers are there to create pressure and in most cases a batsman loses his wicket under pressure. Be it Rohit Sharma or Virat Kohli, India will not expect mistakes from them. With minimum mistakes you will be on top. This is the formula of T20 cricket. You simply cannot go wrong in the shortest format of the game.


Hardik Pandya and Rohit Sharma (AFP photo)
If you had to pick two Indian players who could be game changers to lead India to a podium, who would they be?
The first and top on the list is Hardik Pandya. He is a super confident player. When he is out in the middle, he is a nightmare for the opposition. He can change the course of the game at any time. Such a confident player he is. Another player who can take India to a title win is Dinesh Karthik. He is an incredible player. He is experienced and in excellent form. These two will do wonders for the Indian team.
Virat Kohli regained his form…
Virat in form means he will make your (players) life hell with his bat. He is a fearless character. He is a mind reader. That is why he plays top bowlers fearlessly and brilliantly. He’s going to score big. He is so knowledgeable and works hard all the time. He makes a bowler sweat during the nets and that’s how he prepares himself. He is just great. Virat in the Indian team means India have sorted their batting.


Virat Kohli (AFP Photo)
An ICC trophy as a captain will always be missing from Virat Kohli’s cabinet…
This is where MS Dhoni’s example comes in. You must take on joint (individual) and leadership (responsibilities). This is how you achieve your and your team’s goals together. You just can’t focus on yourself and move on. I played against him (Dhoni). He always took his captaincy and the team with him. This is the sign of a brilliant leader. You can be a captain, but a captain cannot (necessarily) be a leader. There is a big difference. Dhoni always put the team first. Every captain gets angry.
Dhoni got angry (too). Virat also got angry on many occasions and so did Rohit. This is because a captain wants results. Dhoni was angry earlier, but he ensured that the team’s confidence was not damaged. He supported his players, instilled confidence, gave them many chances and took everyone along. This helped his players to perform, stay confident and win matches. That’s why Dhoni-led (India) teams have won three ICC titles. He walked with players and he knew how to get the best out of them.
Dinesh Karthik or Rishabh Pant against Pakistan?
I will go for DK. He is talented and experienced. You need a player who can take the pressure. And we saw DK do it. Whether India go for Pant or not, DK should be in the eleven. He will play the role of a game-changer.


Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik (Twitter photo)
Death bowling could be a major concern for Team India once the Super 12 phase begins. Your thoughts…
India have good bowlers. They have Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and the young Arshdeep Singh. India just have to deal with pressure and also create pressure. Arshdeep and Bhuvneshwar will do well in Australia. Shami and Bhuvneshwar will be assets in the death overs in Australian conditions. Shami can single-handedly turn the tide for India.


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