‘Won’t even think of anyone else’: Shastri picks India’s wicketkeeper for T20 WC | Cricket

The T20 World Cup is still six months away, but rest assured, the Indian selectors in the back of their minds know what the core team is going to look like. The likes of Mohammad Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul are obvious contenders, but at the same time, several other spots are up for grabs. Who will be the third and reserve pacesetters, how many spinners will board the flight to Australia and who will all make up the all-important middle order? These are questions that will be answered in due course.

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That doesn’t stop pundits and former cricketers from jumping to their own permutations and combinations, though. In addition to the positions mentioned above, another area that attracts a lot of public interest is that of the wicketkeeper slot. Between Ishan Kishan, Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik, the management and selectors will have to make a big decision. Pant has established himself as a fixture on the Indian team across a variety of formats, but he hasn’t quite set the IPL on fire. Neither has the young and promising Ishan, while Karthik’s career has been given a second wind thanks to his exploits in the IPL for Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Despite the stiff competition between the three, Ravi Shastri is confident and in no doubt who his pick will be as India’s first-choice wicket-keeper among the three. “His track record in Australia alone… given what he’s done there, I won’t think of anyone else except Rishabh Pant,” Shastri told ESPNCricinfo.

As for Ishan and Karthik, the former India all-rounder gave interesting answers. For Ishan, Shastri thinks that while he could be a candidate as an opener in Indian conditions, the 23-year-old could fall behind in the pecking order given the testing nature of fields in Australia. That said, Shastri was sure that Karthik would be the second choice goalkeeper behind Pant and fill the role of finisher on the team.

“At number 6…he (Dinesh Karthik) is the second pick. Because Rishabh Pant will hit in the middle order. Now Ishan Kishan comes more in conditions like in India…if you need him at the top of the order to meet he could be the man, but in the conditions that exist in Australia where you need a finisher in the back, hitting number 6, he would be the second goalkeeper in his current form. now and see his maturity and the way he has finished matches, then you go in the current form,” said Shastri.

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