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Wednesday, September 28, 2022

‘IND need to fix No.4 position, get balance correct by picking between Pant, DK’ | Cricket

India announced their 15-man squad for the 2022 Asia Cup on Monday with Virat Kohli returning to the Rohit Sharma-led team while Jasprit Bumrah missing the bus owing to a back injury. Despite most veterans and experts hailing the selection of the Indian team for the tournament slated to begin from August 27 in the UAE, former national selector Saba Karim has once again ignited the No.4 debate while urging India to find balance by picking one between Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik.



Pant has been India’s preferred wicketkeeper-batter in T20I cricket and in his absence the management have juggled between Ishan Kishan, Karthik and Sanju Samson. But even the absence of Pant, India has played Karthik in their T20I XI, picking the batter veteran as a finisher in the series against South Africa, England and West Indies.

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Speaking on the Sports 18 show ‘Sports Over the Top’, Karim opined that India should pick one between Pant and Karthik to strike balance in the line-up and settle on their No.4 issue.

“Yes, you need to sort it out as soon as possible. But to fix the No. 4 position for a specific player, we need to get the balance of the side correct. When I say this, I mean they need to pick between Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant,” he said.



Karim then backed Suryakumar Yadav to play at the No.4 spot for India. Suryakumar is among the seven batters who have featured as a No.4 batsman for India since the last World Cup, scoring 195 runs at a strike rate of 198.97 with a century. However, in the recent series against West Indies, he was asked to open for India, which sparked a huge debate.

“Once you decide on either of these players, then it is easy to slot in Surya at No. 4. It’s up to the team management to decide what is the ideal position for Suryakumar Yadav. If the team management feels No. 4 is the ideal position for him to come in, then the rest of the batting order follows,” he said.



Karim further pointed out India’s ideal line-up for the Asia Cup tournament with the team having six bowling options.

“India has done well with five bowlers plus Hardik Pandya as the sixth bowling option. So you would like to break that kind of a combination and get in another batter in Dinesh Karthik at No. 7. That means you will go in with Hardik Pandya as the fifth bowler who is expected to bowl four overs.

“Whatever I have seen from Rohit Sharma’s captaincy, I think he prefers to have five regular bowlers plus Hardik Pandya as their sixth bowling option. KL Rahul being the vice-captain, I look at him as an opener with Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli at No. 3 and Suryakumar Yadav at No. 4,” he said.



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