The Indian squads for the limited overs series against Australia has been announced recently. Not many had expected big changes, but the selection committee has surprised everyone.
The series against Australia will be India’s last international assignment before the World Cup. As a result everyone expected MSK Prasad and Co. would give the players some more game time.
But the selection panel sprung a huge surprise by dropping wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik from the squad. In his place the highly-rated youngster Rishabh Pant has been included in the ODI squad.
While Pant’s inclusion was on the cards, but no one expected Karthik to be dropped. This is because for the last one year, Karthik has been groomed by the management as the team’s finisher.
India’s all-time greatest finisher MS Dhoni’s abilities are declining. In his place the team had pinned their hopes on Karthik instead. The Tamil Nadu-born player also responded well and guided India in many tough chases.
The biggest example of Karthik’s finishing ability was the Nidahas Trophy final. Since the 2017 Champions Trophy, Karthik has played 20 games. In all those matches he has scored 425 runs at an average of 47.22. In those 20 games Karthik played eight unbeaten knocks.
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Is this the end of Karthik’s ODI career?
Although Karthik has performed his best over the last 12 months, yet he received the axe. The reasons for his exclusion are known only to the selection committee. Meanwhile former Indian batsman Sanjay Manjrekar feels Karthik’s ODI career is over.
In an interview with ESPNCricinfo, Manjrekar said:
His fans will feel sorry because with the opportunity he has got, he has done as well as he could but I feel with this selection or non-selection of Karthik, India have told everyone that we look at Karthik as a T20 batsman and his 50-over future is over as far as we are concerned.
Sanjay also added, “He has done well in the opportunities he has got. But he has been around for a long time and the selectors are thinking just like me – World Cup, big stage, big match, 50-overs cricket, Dinesh Karthik. Ambati Rayudu by playing that innings in New Zealand when he put India on the track of recovery and got the team to get a big score. Dinesh Karthik hasn’t played that kind of an innings.”
“He has mostly played the role of a finisher. So this is where the numbers are disregarded by the selectors, the captain, the management and they are thinking temperamentally so far what we have seen of Karthik. Is he someone who will excite us a 50-overs cricket at World Cup and they have said no and I don’t grudge them for that,” concluded Sanjay.
Nonetheless Karthik will try to find his way back by performing well in the upcoming Indian Premier League. The selectors will definitely keep a closer look in the domestic tournament as well as on the wicketkeeper-batsman.