Selectors face a dilemma over picking one of Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant ahead of the World Cup 2019
While MS Dhoni is a certainty, Pant or Karthik still doesn't seem to have sealed their place.
Updated - Feb 15, 2019 1:03 pm
For some time, India did not have many options when it came to wicket-keepers, especially in the longer format. But currently, the Indian selectors are spoilt for choice in picking two keepers for the squad that will play the World Cup in England and Wales in May-July. While the veteran MS Dhoni is already a certainty, the race is between the experienced Dinesh Karthik and youngster Rishabh Pant.
The upcoming T20I and ODI series at home against Australia will be the final chance for the selectors to settle the debate. The squads for the twin series will be announced on Friday and eyes will be on how the fates of Karthik and Pant treat them in the time just ahead of the mega tournament. The deadline for submitting the final WC squad to the International Cricket Council (ICC) is April 23.
Chief selector MSK Prasad told the Times of India in an interview that the final squad for the showpiece tournament starting May 30 has been more or less finalised with a few spots requiring the final touches. One of them is certainly about Karthik and Pant.
The former, who made his international debut in 2004, has featured in only one World Cup squad till date (2007) while Pant made his international debut in 2017 and came into prominence since he started playing Test matches in England last year.
Both the players have been known for their batting prowess and it is to be seen now who gets the final nod or whether both get into the team with Pant playing more as a specialist batsman which he has been doing in limited-overs cricket in recent series in Australia and New Zealand.
Rahul and Rahane could also be tested in Australia series
Among other players who are expected to play for India in the series against Australia are KL Rahul who is in the middle of a poor run though showed some touches against England Lions recently and Ajinkya Rahane who hasn’t played in ODIs since February last year but yet is considered a handy option to have in England’s bowler-friendly conditions.