The situation for Dinesh Karthik after Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced him as the replacement for Manish Pandey seems a lot better for the Chennaiite. Earlier, Manish Pandey was picked for the Indian squad for the Champions Trophy, but he was recently ruled out of the squad with a left side strain.
Pandey sustained the injury during a Kolkata Knight Riders practice session of their IPL Eliminator against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Wednesday. So, in the place of Manish Pandey, BCCI has announced the wicket-keeper batsman Dinesh Karthik as the replacement.
Luck has not quite been on Pandey’s side after his scintillating display in the ongoing Indian Premier League added with his domestic form booked him the ticket to England to play in the Champions Trophy. The 27-year-old batsman has scored 396 runs in the IPL at an average of 49.50 in 13 matches before he was ruled out from the tournament due to a side strain.
Why Dinesh Karthik?
Dinesh Karthik has been in brilliant form since the start of the Indian domestic season playing for Tamil Nadu. He went on scoring 704 runs in the 10 Ranji matches including 1 century and 5 fifties at an average of 54.15. His form featured Tamil Nadu this year before getting knocked out of the tournament by Mumbai.
The consistency that the batsman has shown throughout the course of Ranji Trophy had put the selectors in confusion, whether to select the experienced Karthik or to pick Pandey who has done well in recent times.
However, Karthik backed his performance in the Ranji Trophy with an outstanding display in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, where he scored 607 runs including 2 centuries and 4 fifties in nine matches with an average of 86.71 and strike rate of 102.01. Karthik not only helped his team get through to the finals in the Vijay Hazare Trophy but also clinched the cup by defeating Bengal by 37 runs.
Followed by Vijay Hazare Trophy, the veteran scored 202 runs at an average of 101 in Deodhar Trophy. His tally of 854 runs in 12 List A matches is the fourth best record ever in the Indian domestic history, with only Ajay Jadeja and Sachin Tendulkar having a better record than the Chennaiite.
Dinesh Karthik Performance in IPL:
In this year’s IPL, Karthik played for Gujarat Lions led by Suresh Raina. Well, Karthik scored 361 runs in 14 matches at an average of 36.10. Karthik had probably been Gujarat’s best performer in the team this season after captain Raina. Karthik over the years has been one of India’s most consistent wicketkeepers.
Dinesh Karthik in 2013 Champions Trophy:
The veteran last played in the 2013 Champions Trophy as a specialist batsman, where he was tried and tested at several positions which didn’t work though. He scored 2 centuries in the warm-up games but faded in the tournament where he could score only 82 runs in the 4 innings. However, he scored 51* in the 6th match against West Indies which guided his team to an eight-wicket victory.
Karthik was one of the batsmen to be featured on the stand-by list alongside his IPL skipper Suresh Raina and Delhi Daredevils’s explosive batsman Rishabh Pant. It would, however, be risky for MSK Prasad and co to pick Pant in the tournament, given his lack of experience on the International platform. Raina, too, would turn to be an unsafe option given his weakness against the short ball and the swinging deliveries early in the innings.
Karthik’s wicket-keeping skills have also improved over the years alongside his batting. He is currently in the best phase of his career as far as batting form is concerned, and it is time for India to get as much as possible from him. We hope, the wicket-keeper-batsman would not let go of this opportunity and try to become a regular in the national team.
What do you say about picking Dinesh Karthik into the Indian team for Champions Trophy? Do you think BCCI has taken a good decision in picking Karthik for the tournament? Share your views with us in the comments section below.