Mon, 26 Sep 2022 11:54 AM IST
Ahead of the T20 World Cup, India skipper Rohit Sharma batted for veteran wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik and said he needs more matches before the showpiece event in Australia.
India swapped between Karthik and Rishabh Pant in the three-match T20I series against Australia which concluded on Sunday with hosts clinching the series 2-1 following six-wicket win in Hyderabad.
Karthik featured in all three matches of the series but only got eight balls to face. However, the right-handed batter made the most of the opportunity he got and was crucial in India's second T2OI win with his 2-ball 10* runs which included a six and a four.
On the other hand, Pant only played in the second T20I which was due to the truncated match as India needed more batters in the playing XI for the eight-overs per side clash.
"I wanted both of these guys to have a number of games under their belt before the World Cup. When we went to the Asia Cup both of these guys were in the fray to play all games," Rohit said at the post-match press conference.
"But I just feel that Dinesh needs a little more game time. He hardly got to bat (this series). Just maybe three balls. So that's not enough time," he added.
"Pant also needs game time obviously. But looking at how this series was it was important for me to just stick to that consistent batting lineup."
In their next assignment, India will host South Africa for three-match T20I series followed by as many ODIs. Rohit has not revealed his cards for Proteas series and left it on the situation to pick either Karthik or Pant in the playing XI.
"I don't know what we're gonna do against South Africa. We just need to go and see their bowling, what sort of bowling lineup they'll play with, and who are the best guys for us who can handle that bowling lineup. It all depends on that. We want to be flexible in our batting. So if the situation or if the thing demands that we need a left-hander, we will bring in a left-hander if we need a right-hander, we will continue to do that,"
"But we'll try and manage those guys pretty carefully. I do understand that they need game time before the World Cup but there are only 11 players you can play, unfortunately," Rohit said.
The first T20I between India and South Africa will take place at Greenfield International Stadium, Thiruvananthapuram on September 28.