Since the veteran’s comeback to the Indian squad, Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant have played together in several T20I matches for India. Given that a few important players keep skipping overseas commitments, India was able to accommodate both. But with the World Cup drawing close, there was already debate on who should continue to be India’s starting wicketkeeper in T20I matches. Many seasoned cricketers and observers were astonished when Pant was benched for Karthik in India’s Asia Cup opener last week against Pakistan. So, for the T20 World Cup, is Karthik India’s main wicketkeeper-batter? Rahul Dravid, the head coach of India, revealed everything on Saturday before India’s Super 4 match against Babar Azam’s team in Dubai.

Given that his batting approach fits well with the team’s batting design, Karthik’s return to the T20 format as a finisher aided India in their duties this summer. Additionally, he has shown his value in those games as a finisher, which occurred during Pant’s hot-and-cold streak at the time.

However, many assumed it to be the team’s starting lineup for the World Cup as India chose Karthik over Pant in the match against Pakistan last Sunday. However, Dravid disregarded any discussion of the pecking order by stating that such decisions would be taken following the circumstances.

“The team doesn’t have a first-choice wicketkeeper… “There’s no such thing as first choice playing XI for every single scenario. We play according on the circumstances, situation, opponent, and what we believe is the best XI. That will differ. We believed Dinesh was the best pick for us on that particular day against Pakistan, he stated in the pre-game news conference. However, India fielded both Pant and Karthik against Hong Kong, although neither batted.

“It’s tough to leave anybody off, but our goal is to choose the strongest XI. We have a little bit of squad culture in our side who believe that we have a very good squad of XV and anyone can play,” Dravid added.