Former Australia cricketer Shane Watson says that Team India’s veteran wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik could be chosen ahead of Rishabh Pant when it comes to the finisher’s role at the T20 World Cup 2022. He also stated how the right-handed batter has been in amazing form lately, taking games away from the opposition with blitzy knocks. He also shared that Karthik is a valuable addition to India’s squad now as well.
Watson said during an interview with the TOI. He explained: “It’s a good predicament that India have got. DK is batting brilliantly. He is just incredible. He just continues to come in and just take games away from world-class bowling (teams) straightaway.”So, if that’s the role needed within the Indian team, then Dinesh Karthik is certainly the man for that. If they just want someone to come in right at the end and hit boundaries straightaway, then DK is the best for this role.”
While speaking of Rishabh Pant’s batting, Watson stated that while he is also capable of upping the ante, he sees him more as a middle-order batter than a finisher now. However, the veteran backed Karthik over Pant in their recent T20I outings.
He added: “Whereas, Rishabh can certainly do that too. But in my mind, he is more of a middle-order batsman right now. Both Rishabh and Dinesh Karthik are very sharp. It just depends on what roles they need to fill in. Karthik is going to play a big role for India at the T20 World Cup.”
The veteran also emphasized that Kohli seems to have found his rhythm and has looked in great touch with the bat and is likely to play a major role for Rohit Sharma and Co. at the mega event.
Shane Watson further added: “Virat is batting very nicely right now. The way he played against Australia alone, a couple of those innings, the way he batted, he was at his best. Some of those shots that he played were amazing. Virat is batting at his absolute best.”He definitely needed a break just to be able to re-energize his batteries. And you can see the way he has made a comeback into the Indian team. The way he’s batting, he’s going to play a key role for India in the T20 World Cup.”
However, Team India will take on arch-rivals Pakistan in their opening match of the T20 World Cup 2022. The blockbuster game will be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday (October 23).
Watson also stated that while they have a great bowling attack, their performances toward the end of the innings are a matter of concern. However, the death bowling, in particular, has cost the team in many matches in recent times. Furthermore, the absence of Jasprit Bumrah will make things tough.
Watson explained, “My biggest concern is India’s bowling. They have got good fast bowlers, they have got world-class spinners – Axar Patel in particular and Yuzvendra Chahal. My biggest question mark is on India’s defensive bowling skills, especially at the dead end of the game (death overs). But India have got a skilled captain in Rohit and also as a leader, he’s going to be directing the team in a great way.”
The veteran has also suggested that Arshdeep Singh would benefit from the bigger grounds in Australia. He also said that Bhuvneshwar Kumar could also play a major role for Rohit Sharma and Co., given his experience as well.
“Arshdeep Singh is one of the best defensive bowlers India have got. His ability to execute yorkers at the back end of the game is amazing. We’ve seen that in the IPL and we’ve seen that for games he’s played for India as well. He’s got these great defensive skills and that is one thing that India definitely needs in the T20 World Cup. Arshdeep is going to be great with his pace. He’s bowling really well and he’s going to be handling Australian conditions, especially on bigger grounds. In India, the grounds are a bit smaller. So, it’s a bit more challenging to be able to defend whereas in Australia (there are) bigger grounds. Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s execution at the death can be very, very good as well. He is an experienced bowler and India can use his experience in Australia,” Shane Watson concluded.