With the playing XI for the first T20I against Australia, the former India opener offers his opinion on the Karthik vs. Pant controversy.

With KL Rahul keeping his position despite his terrible run and Virat Kohli only being utilized as a backup opener in the final eleven, Rohit Sharma’s recent press conference was a glaring indication that the top three wouldn’t alter. The focus will be on Rahul’s performance when India takes on Australia in a T20I series. After that, South Africa will travel to India for three games before Rohit and company go for the World T20 Down Under.

The only argument now unresolved is who will fill the wicketkeeper’s position over Rishabh Pant or Dinesh Karthik, even if the top three seem solid for the next several months. Karthik has taken the finisher’s position, where he has limited opportunity to get his eyes in, ever since his comeback to the Indian squad. In the first match of the Asia Cup last month, he was chosen over Pant. However, due to Ravindra Jadeja’s injury, Pant is now the only left-handed specialist in the lineup.

Wasim Jaffer, a former India opener, has chosen experience over youth for his starting eleven in the Mohali T20I on September 20 (Tuesday). It remains to be seen if Rohit and head coach Rahul Dravid would choose Karthik or Pant. Jaffer chose all-arounder Axar Patel instead of Jadeja and Karthik over Pant. There were no shocks in the bowling mix, as he placed Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Harshal Patel, and Jasprit Bumrah.

As India plays its last six T20Is before traveling to Australia, captain Rohit said that he wants his players to go outside of their comfort zones and learn new aspects of their game before the series against Australia begins. His remarks follow India’s ‘Super 4’ departure from the most recent Asia Cup when the team was criticized for frequent substitutions.

“The squad for both of the matchups before the World Cup was released because I wanted to instill security among the group (Australia and South Africa). We essentially used the same squad for the Asia Cup as well “Rohit stated.