Ahead of the three-match T20I series against Australia, the Indian team management need to decide whether they want to play both Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik in the playing XI or there is room for just one between these two as the wicketkeeper-batter. Pant’s performance in the shortest format has not been great this year while Karthik has shown that he can finish off innings in style. Former India batter Wasim Jaffer has said that he would pick Dinesh Karthik ahead of Pant in the first T20I against Australia.

Jaffer also said that leaving out Rishabh Pant in the World Cup “will be the best thing” as he does not fit in at number 4 or 5. 

“They (India) need to figure out whether Rishabh Pant plays or not. The Indian thinktank has been thinking a lot about putting Rishabh Pant in. He has been brilliant and we have talked about it many times that in Test cricket and in the ODIs, he has played really series-winning, game-changing knocks, but that has not happened in T20 internationals or even in T20s,” Jaffer said on ESPNcricinfo’s ‘T20 Timeout’.

“So I think India need to figure out whether they want to stick with Rishabh Pant in the top six or if they want to stick with Dinesh Karhitk, who has done really well since the IPL, whichever opportunity he has got. For me personally, Rishabh Pant does not fit in number 4 or 5,” he added. 

Further talking about Pant, Jaffer said: “His best place probably is to open batting, which I don’t think will happen because KL, Rohit and Virat are going to occupy that 1-2-3. I feel leaving out Rishabh Pant for now in the World Cup will be the best thing.”

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Pant has not done anything substantial in the shortest format this year, with his highest score being 52 against West Indies in February 2022.

India squad for Australia T20I series: Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul (vc), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, R. Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Deepak Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav.

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