Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik can be accommodated in XI if Hardik Pandya is fifth bowler: Sunil Gavaskar | Cricket News


MUMBAI: The big one Sunil Gavaskar feel India can both Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant in the playing XI by making Hardik Pandya the fifth bowling option in the upcoming T20 World Cup.
The Rohit Sharma-led side, who begin their campaign against Pakistan in Melbourne on Sunday, have two wicketkeeper-batsman options in Karthik and Pant, who are both vying for a place in the XI.
As the Indian think tank mulls over his team combination ahead of the Pakistan clash, the legendary 73-year-old feels both can be accommodated.
“It’s just that, if they decide to go with six bowlers, with Hardik Pandya as the sixth bowler, then he (Pant) might not be able to get a place,” Gavaskar said on Star Sports show ‘Cricket Live ‘ said.

“But if they decide to go with Hardik Pandya as a fifth bowler, then Rishabh Pant has an opportunity to bat at number six and Karthik maybe at number seven, followed by the four bowlers. So, it could well happen , we just have to wait and see.
“They would definitely want a left-hander in the middle, but when you look at the top four, who are in such good form, sometimes you say to yourself, ‘How many overs is Rishabh Pant going to get?’
“Is he going to get three or four overs? And for three or four overs, is Karthik or Rishabh better?” So, these are all the situations they will look at and they will take a call on this,” he said.

Gavaskar also spoke about Pakistan pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi and said he seemed to have returned to full fitness in the warm-up game against England.
Shaheen returned with figures of 2-0-7-0 in his return match against England on 17 October.

“I think that’s what their biggest concern was, about his fitness and how he’ll shape up. And certainly, in the two overs he’s bowled, he’s shown that he’s back to full fitness.
“So that’s obviously one headache away. I think with their catching, they were a lot better than what we saw against England.
“Their fielding has been very good. So, those are two aspects that have worried them and they have shown improvement in those areas. So, I don’t think they will have any doubts when they take on India on Sunday,” Gavaskar concluded.


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