Discarded senior India wicketkeeper-batsman, Dinesh Karthik opines that England’s batting can be further strengthened if Ben Stokes is promoted to number three replacing Dawid Malan. England fell eight runs short of India’s total in the 4th and penultimate T20I in Ahmedabad on Thursday as the series now is locked at 2-2 with the decider slated for Saturday.
A target of 186 looked achievable when Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow were batting in their typical gung-ho fashion, but the 65-run 4th wicket stand was broken as the Indian bowlers brought their side storming back in the game to clinch a close victory.
Stokes should bat at No 3, with the intent he showed: Dinesh Karthik
Dinesh Karthik, who is a part of the commentary panel on Sky Sports with the likes of Michael Atherton and Nasser Hussain, believes that Ben Stokes, who sparkled with his 23-ball 46-run scintillating knock, could add more solidity to this already remarkable England top-order if he is been promoted to number three instead of Dawid Malan, the number 1 ICC T20I batsman.
Dinesh Karthik also recommends Malan to be dropped as he has had an underwhelming series so far – 80 runs in 4 innings at a strike rate of 103.90. The left-hander, in a big chase, couldn’t get going and struggled in his 17-ball stay for 14 runs.
Karthik understands that his Kolkata Knight Riders captain Eoin Morgan is unlikely to change the eleven, however, he feels that Sam Billings should get a nod in for Malan as a finisher.
“If I know Morgan, he’ll stick to the same XI and make sure he gives them confidence.
“But, for me, I have nothing against Malan – I think he’s a good player – but I think Stokes should bat at No 3, with the intent he showed, the way he was taking on the bowlers,” Dinesh Karthik said on Sky Sports.
“If it was Roy, Buttler, Stokes, with Bairstow at No 4 and Morgan No 5, that’s the way I’d look at it. That looks pretty solid to me,” he added.