Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant have featured in the same Playing XI in quite a few matches for India in the T20I format since the veteran’s return to the Indian team. India had managed to accommodate both as few key players kept missing out on the international assignments.
But the question of who remains India’s first-choice wicketkeeper in the T20I format, with the World Cup nearing, was already brewing. And it left many pundits and experts shocked when Pant was rested to make way for Karthik in India’s Asia Cup opener against Pakistan. India head coach Rahul Dravid answered over the suspense on Saturday prior to India’s Super 4 game against Babar Azam’s men in Dubai.
Dravid reveals team selection is made solely based on playing conditions
Karthik’s resurgence in the T20 format as a finisher helped India in their assignments this summer. And he has proven his worth in those fixtures which came amid Pant’s hot and cold run during the period.
However, with Rahul Dravid opting Karthik over Pant last Sunday, many believed it to be the pecking order for the team going into the World Cup. But Dravid explained that such choices will be made based on conditions, brushing aside any talk of the pecking order.
India will focus on fielding the best playing XI
Speaking in the pre-match conference, Dravid said, “There’s no first choice wicketkeeper in the side… We play according to the conditions, situation, opposition and what we feel is the best XI.”
“There’s no such a thing as first choice playing XI for every single condition. That will vary. On that day against Pakistan, we felt Dinesh was the right choice for us.”
India, however, played both Pant and Karthik against Hong Kong, although both did not get their opportunities to bat.
“It’s very difficult to leave out anyone, but we are focused on picking the best XI. We have a little bit of squad culture in our side who believe that we have a very good squad of XV and anyone can play,” Dravid added.
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