In the 2017 Men's T20 World Cup, veteran wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik has yet to perform a memorable knock and provide India the necessary finishing touches. India tested Rishabh Pant in their final Group 2 encounter against Zimbabwe despite the fact that all of his tournament totals to this now have been in the single digits.
With only three runs against Zimbabwe in Melbourne, Pant was unable to make a significant impact with the bat, but there are now doubts over whether Karthik will be able to play in Thursday's quarterfinal match against England at Adelaide Oval.
On the eve of the semifinal, India's captain Rohit Sharma claimed that both Pant and Karthik are a possibility for the pivotal game but withheld the identity of the keeper-batter in the lineup.
"Except for the two games we played in Perth (against Western Australia XI), which were unofficial practise matches, Rishabh was the only man who did not get to play on this tour at all, between DK and Pant, I had said before the final game as well, and since then he hasn't had a hit.
In the pre-game news conference, Rohit stated that "he was the only player who was missing any game time, so we wanted to give him some time and have some options as well if we want to make changes in the semifinal or final, which we should be able to do."
"The idea was that it would be unfair to drag a man out of thin air and force him to play the game. But once more, we have made it clear to the players from the start that everyone must be prepared for every game, whether it be a league game, a semifinal game, or a championship game "the right-handed opener was added.
In Adelaide, where the square boundaries are small, there is a school of thinking that claims Pant may be effective against England's off-spin and leg-spin pair of Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid. Rohit acknowledged that these ideas were what led the team to play Pant against Zimbabwe.
"Considering that before the Zimbabwe game, we had no idea which team we would face in the semifinals, it was also somewhat tactical. We merely wanted to give the left-hander (Pant) a chance to counter some of those middle-order spinners who bowl for England and New Zealand.
"That was the idea, and we believed Rishabh was the one we should go see and give some time to. Again, I have no idea what will occur tomorrow, but I can guarantee that both of those keepers will be used."
Prior to the semifinal, Rohit voiced additional optimism for Axar Patel, stating that the left-arm spin all-rounder is in a positive state of mind. Patel bowled an outstanding stint against the Netherlands, taking 2/18 in his four overs. He hasn't taken any wickets against other tournament sides, though, despite giving up 63 runs in five overs.
To be completely honest, I'm not really concerned because he barely had a chance to bowl in this competition. With the exception of that match against the Netherlands, he hasn't bowled all of his allotted overs due to the conditions that exist. Four of our seamers have already completed their allotted overs, thus the spinners will not bowl their overs.
"If you look at the conditions, all of the grounds we've played on, with the exception of Sydney, had a lot to offer seamers. As a result, we never had the chance to bowl Axar in the powerplay, which is his specialty. However, we do understand his calibre, and the series we played before coming here featured some excellent bowling.
"Men can have one bad tournament; this does not indicate that they are out of shape, are not bowling well, or are incapable of carrying out their goals. I considered the kind of space he is in for me to be significant, and when I spoke with him and heard his opinions, I pretty much felt that he was in a nice space, which is precisely what we want before playing a game like that "finished Rohit.