Former Indian opener Krishnamachari Srikkanth expects superstar Rishabh Pant to replace Dinesh Karthik as Team India has been dealt a massive blow after their crucial encounter against South Africa in the Super 12 stage of the ICC World T20 2022 on Sunday. The senior gloveman and India’s oldest playing member at the T20 World Cup 2022 has reportedly suffered a back injury which might keep him out of the selection race on Wednesday.

Karthik sustained a back injury during the 15th over of South Africa’s innings. The veteran Indian batter had a forgetful outing in the same contest as Rohit Sharma-led Team India suffered a five-wicket defeat at the hands of the Proteas on Sunday. Pant, who is yet to feature in a single World Cup match in Australia, kept wickets for the last five overs after Karthik walked off the field with an injury at Perth.

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Batting for Pant’s inclusion in the upcoming match against Bangladesh, Srikkanth hailed the wicketkeeper-batter as a potential match-winner. “I think yes, Rishabh Pant is a potential match-winner. Pant is a kind of a player, don’t expect consistency from Pant. Even in 10 innings, if he can play 3 knocks, he can win you 3 matches single-handedly,” Srikkanth told Star Sports.

Former South Africa pacer Dale Steyn also backed Pant to feature in the Indian playing XI if Karthik is ruled out of the Bangladesh encounter. “That’s what he can do in a World Cup, last couple of games. Time to make a hero of himself.. the resurgence of Rishabh Pant. May be this is the exact moment that he is waiting for,” Steyn added. After suffering their first defeat in the Super 12 stage, Team India will hope to bounce back in their upcoming match against Bangladesh at the T20 World Cup. Rohit and Co. will meet Bangladesh at the Adelaide Oval on Wednesday.

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