Former India spinner Harbhajan Singh says playing Dinesh Karthik ahead of Rishabh Pant was the “right decision”.
Rohit Sharma-led Team India defeated Pakistan by five wickets on Sunday to start their Asia Cup 2022 campaign on a winning note. However, the biggest headline was made during the toss when skipper Rohit announced that Dinesh Karthik was playing ahead of Rishabh Pant as the wicketkeeper-batter. This decision did not make sense to Gautam Gambhir and Wasim Akram, who were commentating for the India-Pakistan clash.
However, former India spinner Harbhajan Singh says this was the “right decision” as it is the time for Dinesh Karthik to play.
“Rishabh Pant, no doubt, has done very well even in Test cricket and one-dayers. He has been very good. But in this shortest format, he has not been an accomplished player. However, if you look at Dinesh Karthik, his graph is only going upward. He has performed well. This is the right decision. In this format, in this form, there is no use keeping him on the bench. It’s time for Dinesh Karthik to play, he should play,” Harbhajan told Aaj Tak.
In the match, Dinesh Karthik took three catches behind the stumps, and with the bat, he just played one ball, in which he took a crucial single to bring Hardik Pandya on strike in the final over, before the all-rounder hit a six on the fourth ball to seal the contest for India.
“Rishabh Pant is young, he still has plenty of time left. However, Dinesh Karthik has only 1-2 years left and he should make the most of it, the team should also use Karthik’s form and make the most of it. He can win a lot of matches, batting down the order. With Hardik Pandya and Dinesh Karthik batting down the order, I think it’s going to be difficult for most opposition bowlers,” he added.
Dinesh Karthik made a comeback into the side earlier this year on the back of strong performances for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL. He then played crucial knocks coming down the order, taking India over the line. On the other hand, Pant has failed to give consistent performances in the shortest format.