With the Super 12 now over, the entire focus of the Indian team shifts to the semi-final clash against England at the T20 World Cup 2022. Barring the game against South Africa, India have put in exemplary performances throughout the tournament, with Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav being the best with the bat. But, going into the crucial battle against Jos Buttler’s men, former India head coach Ravi Shastri wants the team to make a change in the batting order.
Until now, veteran batsman Dinesh Karthik has been favored behind the stumps, mainly due to his “spiking” skills. Pant was given the go-ahead in the game against Zimbabwe, but he didn’t take advantage of the opportunity and went for a meager 3 of 5 balls.
However, Shastri wants Pant to replace Karthik against England, especially given the southpaw’s past performances against the opposition.
“Dinesh is a lovely team player. But when it comes to a game against England or New Zealand, just looking at their attack, I think you need a robust left-hander who can turn it on, and be a match-winner and left-hander. Shastri told broadcaster Star Sports after India’s victory over Zimbabwe on Sunday.
Highlighting Pant’s impressive striking against England, Shastri said: “He has done well against England. He recently won a match in his win against England, a one-day match. I would go with Pant, not only because he played here, but because of the angle of the X factor, it can lead to the semi-final”.
Shastri also said that the fact that Pant is left-handed could also be an important factor for India due to the tight berth limits in Adelaide, where the match will be played on Thursday.
“You’re playing in Adelaide, the short bounds are square, another reason why a left-footer should be there to disrupt England’s attack. If you have too many right-handers, there’s a sense of equality. England have a good attack, a varied attack from lefties and righties.
“You need a southpaw in your team, who can be dangerous and win you a game in the back overs, even if you’ve lost 3 or 4 wickets at the top,” Shastri stated.
While Pant didn’t perform against ZImbabwe, Karthik has been poor with the bat in the other games, scoring 1, 6 and 7 in the three games he’s had a chance to hit.
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