There has been a debate on who among Pant and Dinesh Karthik should be in the starting line-up, and Gilchrist’s vote of confidence is in favour of the much younger Pant.
“The dare of Rishabh Pant and the courage in him, the way in which he takes on bowling attacks, I think he’s got to be a must in that Indian line-up,” Gilchrist was quoted as saying in an ICC release.
“They (Karthik and Pant) can play together, but I think Rishabh Pant has definitely got to be in there.”
India included both Pant and Karthik in the 15-member squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia, but the former’s underwhelming record in T20Is might go against him.
Pant has 934 runs in 58 T20Is at an average of 23.94 and a strike-rate of 126.21. But he hasn’t quite enjoyed the success that was expected of him in this format, unlike Test cricket where he is already an established star.
Add to it, Karthik has of late blossomed as a finisher, which goes in his favour.
But just like his former skipper Ricky Ponting, Gilchrist too feels that both the wicketkeeper-batters can also together start in the eleven.
“It’ll be interesting to see if they can both play in the same team. I think they can. What they bring to a team … the versatility of Dinesh Karthik, he can play at the top of the order; he can, as he has done more so later in his career, be in the middle and late overs to finish. He has a really nice touch game,” the former Australia wicketkeeper-batter signed off.