The decision to leave Rishabh Pant out of India’s starting lineup for the two T20 World Cup games has been hotly contested. India started with Dinesh Karthik as their wicketkeeper batter against Pakistan and subsequently South Africa, with Pant being benched. But considering Karthik’s dubious wicket-keeping, former India skipper Kapil Dev thinks Pant needs to have a look ahead of the match against South Africa in Perth on Sunday.

Karthik, a 37-year-old experienced wicketkeeper, has been on a duty for RCB ever since the IPL 2022 and from the time he made his India return has played some remarkable innings for India, on route to becoming its designated “finisher” in the squad. Although India may benefit from having a left-hander in the middle order, Karthik gave in to the mounting pressure in the Pakistan game and made a few mistakes while keeping against the Netherlands, which is why Kapil wants DK to be replaced by Pant.

“Since we have Rishabh Pant, I want to suggest that now is the perfect moment for India to use him. Considering the wicketkeeping as well, I believe that if India had that left-hander option in the roster, this team would appear complete. However, Dinesh Karthik seemed to be up to the task “Speaking on ABP News, Kapil.

KL Rahul is another player whose status in India’s starting XI has been questioned. Given Rahul’s two poor performances against Pakistan and the Netherlands, there have even been calls for Pant to take Rahul’s place at the top of the order. However, Kapil has the Indian opener on his side and advises him to wait till the Powerplay is through before exploding and changing up his strategy.

“He plays cricket extremely well. His hitting doesn’t show that he is having trouble. He exits having played two or three times. He needs to score, therefore I want him to do it. Some players get instructions to slow down. He may take his time at first since he can quickly accelerate when necessary. I want him to play patiently, play the first 8-10 overs, and then when he gets an idea what total is best on the pitch, go for it,” mentioned Kapil.