Robin Uthappa opines on India’s middle-order conundrum
By SMCS - Sep 10, 2022 1:11 pm
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Veteran India batter Robin Uthappa said that Rishabh Pant and Deepak Hooda will fight for the No. 5 spot in India’s playing XI ahead of the upcoming T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia later this year as well. Their middle order came under the scanner after their defeats against Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the Super 4 stage of the Asia Cup 2022. Both Pant and Hooda failed as India were knocked out of the competition.

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya praised Rishabh Pant

While speaking on ESPNCricinfo, he stated: “I’d say the No. 5 position is between Rishabh and Hooda. The only thing is Hooda is batting better at the moment and he can offer you something with the ball like he did today. It took him one ball to show that he can contribute with the ball. The 18 matches that he’s played for India since he started playing, India won 16 out of them. He’s only lost two games and those are the last two matches. They should also consider the factors that he is batting so well and he’s a middle-order bat so keep him in the middle-order position at No. 5 and then you have six and you have seven with Hardik in Dinesh and then you have the bowlers.”

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Rishabh Pant scored 14 and 17 against Pakistan and Sri Lanka, respectively, while Hood could only manage 16 and 3 as well. They both will have a lot to play for in the upcoming series against Australia and South Africa as well. However, Dinesh Karthik came back to the Indian side on the back of a good IPL 2022 campaign for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) as well where he smashed 330 runs at a strike rate of over 180.

Deepak Hooda
Deepak Hooda scored a brilliant century

Meanwhile, according to Pujara, Hardik Pandya and Dinesh Karthik should also be part of India’s middle order as well.

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He stated: “I think if I had to pick my No. 5, 6 and 7 I would go with the kind of Asia Cup we had. I think we need we need to strengthen our batting lineup and I would go with Rishabh at No. 5, Hardik at No. 6 and DK at No. 7. I think we need to include both Rishabh and DK needs to play unless you’re looking for Hooda to bowl a few overs if he bowls, then I think Rishabh misses out and Deepak has too bat at No. 5.”