The mega tournament of 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup has almost reached the doorsteps. All the teams are giving their final touch to their squad. The most important part of World Cup is to select the perfect squad.
India will face Australia for the limited overs series. It will be the last international assignment for the Men in Blue. Everyone expected the management wouldn’t tinker with the squad.
However they had a huge surprise in store as they excluded the name of Dinesh Karthik. In place of him they gave one final chance to KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant.
Karthik had been with the team since the 2018 Asia Cup. However Karthik couldn’t score much runs in the recently concluded Australia and New Zealand tour. Against the Aussies, he scored 37 runs from three ODIs. Against the Kiwis he scored 38 runs from two ODIs.
On the other hand KL Rahul wasn’t in best of touch in 2018. But recently he has found form for India A against England Lions. In two unofficial Tests, he scored back-to-back half-centuries.
In case of Pant, chief selector MSK Prasad wants to test him more. He wants to give Pant adequate chances before the World Cup before taking the final call.
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Gavaskar wants Karthik as opener
However former Indian skipper Sunil Gavaskar believes that the inclusion of Dinesh Karthik would provide flexibility. He believes that Karthik can get into the team as the backup opener.
In an interview to India Today, Gavaskar said, “There should be flexibility in the team. Dinesh Karthik has opened in Test matches in the past so he can do it in ODIs too.” Gavaskar also named his 15-man squad for the World Cup. He has preferred Karthik ahead of Rahul and Pant.
“I have 13 names in my mind who will surely board the flight to England. They are Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Kuldeep Yadav,” Sunil Gavaskar said. The other two names were Dinesh Karthik and all-rounder Vijay Shankar.
Karthik can still get into the selection by performing well in the T20 series against Australia and IPL. Only time will say if a stellar performance in IPL strengthens his credentials or not.