Rohit Sharma Drops A Bomb Regarding India’s Playing XI Selections
By CricShots - Nov 9, 2022 1:40 pm
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After warming up the bench in the first four matches of the Super 12 stage, the young Indian wicket-keeper batter, Rishabh Pant received a surprise start against Zimbabwe on Sunday. Replacing veteran gloveman, Dinesh Karthik in the Indian playing XI, Pant recorded his first appearance for the Indian team under the captaincy of Rohit Sharma in their final group game at the T20 World Cup 2022.

Dinesh Karthik
Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant

Rohit Sharma had earlier explained India’s decision to replace Karthik with Pant in the game against Zimbabwe. India had secured its semi-final berth in the lead-up to its final fixture of the Super 12 stage at the T20 World Cup. Speaking at the traditional pre-match press conference on Wednesday, India’s captain Rohit was asked about Pant’s return to the Indian playing XI before the World Cup semi-finals.

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Talking to the reporters, Rohit Sharma said, “Between Pant and DK, I said it before the last game, as well, Rishabh was the only guy who didn’t get to play on this tour at all except the two games that we played in Perth. That was an unofficial practice game. But since then he hasn’t had a hit, and he was the only guy who was missing some game time, so we wanted to give him some time.”

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma in Adelaide nets

He further added, “We want to make changes in the semis or the finals, we should be able to do that. It would be unfair to just bring the guy from nowhere and make him play the game, so that was the thought. But again, at the same time we’ve told the guys right from the beginning that everyone needs to be ready for whichever game they have to play, whether it’s semis, final, lead games. They’ve got to be ready for it.”

Rishabh Pant had a forgetful outing with the bat against Zimbabwe as scored just 3 off 5 balls. Rohit-led Team India thrashed Craig Ervine-led Zimbabwe by 71 runs to secure the top spot in Group 2 of the T20 World Cup. India will be facing England in the second semi-final of the T20 World Cup on Thursday. Indian skipper Rohit asserted that both Pant and Karthik are in the fray to keep wickets for India at the Adelaide Oval.

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Rohit Sharma concluded by saying, “But yeah, it was a little tactical, as well, considering we were not knowing which team we would be playing in the semis before that Zimbabwe game, so we wanted to just give a left-hander an opportunity to counter some of the spinners who bowled in the middle for New Zealand and England. That was the thought, and we thought Rishabh was the guy for us to go and give him some time, as well.”