Experienced wicket-keeper batter, Dinesh Karthik, was never considered to be among the strong list of players that would be fearing for their place in the upcoming 50-over World Cup in England. Actually, Karthik had little to no reasons to be worrying about his spot. With MS Dhoni reaching the climax of his illustrious career, team India are in desperate need of a good finisher. And with that being said, the Men in Blue are putting their hopes on Karthik.
Dinesh Karthik has been around the international arena even before MS Dhoni made his international debut in 2004. However, inconsistency meant that the Tamil Nadu player could never find a permanent spot in India’s playing XI. However, since his return in the 2017 Champions Trophy, Karthik has looked like a different player altogether.
The change has seen Karthik adopt a new style in his batting. The 33-year-old now takes his time to get his eye in and adapts himself according to the situation. Perhaps this particular change in his style might have persuaded the management to try him as a finisher, a strategy where Karthik paid dividends.
In the last two years in ODIs, the right-handed batter was unbeaten in seven out of the previous ten games India has won while chasing. Only the likes of Joe Root (nine) and his teammates Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni (eight times each) are ahead of him in this statistic. Since the Champions Trophy 2017, Dinesh Karthik has compiled 425 runs in 20 games at an average of 47.22.
Karthik’s T20I statistics have been even more impressive in the last two years. The 33-year-old has played seven innings while chasing and has remained not out, scoring 141 runs at a brilliant strike rate of 142.42.
With that being said, Karthik’s place for the ODI World Cup was expected to be confirmed. However, the Indian team management has caught everyone by surprise, dropping the veteran wicket-keeper for the five-match ODI series against Australia at home.
The selectors have recalled Rishabh Pant, who is one of the biggest competitors for Karthik. The upcoming ODI series against Australia also happens to be the last before the World Cup in May, which means that Karthik’s chances of going to the World Cup are now in the balance.
Just going through some batting numbers of @DineshKarthik over the last 18 months and its not surprising to see that he has become one of the best finishers in the world right now. This version of DK is all that he ever wanted to be, I am very happy for him. 👏#INDvsAUS— Ashwin Ravichandran (@ashwinravi99) January 16, 2019
And in case Rishabh Pant delivers and Karthik fails to get into the World Cup side, it will be well and truly over for the 33-year-old in the ODIs. With age not being on his side, the management will be more willing to give an extended chance to Rishabh Pant.