India's World Cup plans received a major shot in the arm with their wins against Australia and New Zealand. The number 4 slot has more or less been nailed down by Ambati Rayudu and the form of Mohammed Shami and the wrist spinners is very promising.
However, there is one slot which is still up for grabs and this is the position of a reserve opener. The future of KL Rahul is not yet clear and even as Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan remain the openers, there needs to another option in the squad. Former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar has picked Dinesh Karthik for this role.
'If the team has three wicketkeepers, so be it'
In the post-match analysis for Star Sports, Gavaskar said that Karthik can be slotted in as the opener. He also said that the selectors should include Rishabh Pant for the home series against Australia and Karthik can be tried in the new role.
Gavaskar said, "If the team has three wicketkeepers, so be it."
In the recent past, Karthik has emerged as a viable prospect at the back end of the innings where he can finish off games. However, this is off-field selection could throw up a few interesting combinations.
The Tamil Nadu man enjoys the confidence of the team management and captain Virat Kohli and if he indeed gets the nod for the third opener, it could well mean Shubman Gill will have to wait for its chance after not being able to give a good account of himself in the couple of matches in New Zealand.
Earlier, BCCI chief selector MSK Prasad had said that Rishabh Pant is very much part of India's World Cup plans and that the bench strength excites him.
"Let me put it straight, he is very much in our World Cup plans. He is a champion player in the making and even he is not fully aware the kind of potential he has," Prasad said last month.