Rishabh Pant started against Zimbabwe on Sunday after warming up in the first four Super 12 games. Pant made his T20 World Cup 2022 debut for Rohit Sharma’s team in the final group game, replacing Dinesh Karthik.
All-format captain Rohit discussed India’s decision to replace Karthik with Pant in their Super 12 match against Zimbabwe. India had qualified for the T20 World Cup semi-finals before its final Super 12 match. On Wednesday, Rohit was asked about Pant’s return to the Indian playing XI before the World Cup semi-finals.
Between Pant and DK, I remarked before the last game that Rishabh was the only man who didn’t play on this tour except for the two games in Perth. Unofficial practise game. But since then he hasn’t had a hit, and he was the only one missing any game time, so we wanted to give him some time and have some alternatives, as well, if we want to make changes in the semis or finals,” Rohit told reporters.
“Bringing the individual from nowhere and making him play the game would be unfair, so that was the thought. However, we’ve always advised the boys to be ready for any game, whether it’s semis, finals, or lead games. Rohit said they must be prepared.
Pant was dismissed for 3 off 5 balls against Zimbabwe. Rohit’s India won Group 2 of the T20 World Cup by 71 runs over Zimbabwe’s Craig Ervine. Thursday’s T20 World Cup second semi-final will pit India against Jos Buttler’s England. Indian captain Rohit said Pant and Karthik are competing to keep wickets at the Adelaide Oval.
“But certainly, it was a bit tactical, as well, because we were not sure which team we would play in the semis before that Zimbabwe game, so we wanted to give a left-hander an opportunity to counter some of the spinners who bowled in the middle for New Zealand and England. We decided Rishabh was the one to go and offer some time to. “But again, what is going to happen tomorrow, I guess I won’t be able to tell you right now, but both keepers will be in play for sure,” the Indian captain added.