“Such An X-Factor”: Former National Selector Saba Karim On India Star

The Asia Cup 2022 is just around the corner and fans cannot wait for the match between India and Pakistan on Sunday in Dubai. All eyes would be on what sort of combination India choose to field against Babar Azam-led side. Former national selector Saba Karim has said that he would pick Rishabh Pant ahead of Dinesh Karthik in the playing XI as the left-handed batter is an “X-factor” and he sees him delivering stellar performances in the upcoming tournament.

“Well in my 11, I could’ve only picked 1 wicketkeeper batter, because if I’m getting in KL Rahul and Virat Kohli that leaves me with the choice of picking only one player between Dinesh Kartik and Rishabh Pant. I’ve gone ahead with Rishabh Pant because he’s such an X Factor for India and I can see him delivering some stellar performances even this Asia cup,” said Saba Karim on SPORTS18’s daily sports news show ‘SPORTS OVER THE TOP’

“I’m also preferring a combination which allows me to play 5 wicket-taking bowlers. On top of that, I have Hardik Pandya as my 6th bowling option. So, if I go in with this kind of combination then I don’t have space for 2 wicket keepers,” he added.

Karim also said Suryakumar Yadav can be a floater for the versatility he brings in. “Suryakumar Yadav is such a multi-dimensional player, I can keep him as a floater. I can push him up the order, if my two openers bat say till the 7th-8th over, I can push in SKY then. Or in case it is required, I can also push him down the order because he’s such a player who can give me value at whatever number he bats and I’m looking at my 4-5-6 as floaters. I will in fact keep Rishabh Pant very handy.”

“Because if I feel that I need to push in a left-hander at the top of the order, I can do that as well. But as of now my fixed 3 positions at the top would be Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli,” he added.

When asked what top-order he would like to go in with, Karim named KL Rahul, skipper Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli.


“My top order is captain Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli. And I’m backing experience to do well against a big team like Pakistan and also in an important tournament like Asia Cup. I can understand that Virat Kohli has struggled with form. KL Rahul, would love to see him get more runs but I still feel that both Virat Kohli and KL Rahul, if they undergo 2-3 good practice sessions, I’m sure they’ll get back to form at the right time for India,” he added.

India squad for Asia Cup: Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan

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