Dinesh Karthik May Not Be Picked For 2022 T20I World Cup, Feels Gautam Gambhir

Dinesh Karthik has been backed by many to solve Team India’s finishing woes at the forthcoming T20I World Cup 2022. However, Gautam Gambhir doesn’t feel keeper Dinesh Karthik will have a place in the Indian squad once the likes of rested/ injured batters Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, and Ravindra Jadeja return.

Dinesh Karthik’s finishing exploits for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 have given many Team India fans hopes for the T20I World Cup this year. Though there’s still a long way to go before the squad for the showpiece event is picked, former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir doesn’t feel Dinesh Karthik will be on the flight to Australia.

Dinesh Karthik Photo: © Reuters (Main Image)

Dinesh Karthik’s Knock Of 30 Off 21 Balls In 2nd T20I Was Very Valuable: Gautam Gambhir

Gautam Gambhir was asked about Dinesh Karthik’s 30 off 21 against South Africa in the second T20I. While the former India opener said that the knock was quite valuable, the fact that Dinesh Karthik came after Axar Patel in the batting order surprised the former opener.

Gautam Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir (Credits: Twitter)

“It was very valuable (the knock), he has been doing that for the last 2-3 months for RCB. But, I was a bit amazed that Axar came ahead of Dinesh Karthik. I would’ve been happier if he had come ahead of Axar,” said Gambhir.

When Hardik Pandya was bowled by Wayne Parnell, India had been reduced to 90 for 4 in the 13th over against South Africa in the second T20I in Cuttack. Dinesh Karthik had been slotted in at No 6 but he was held back as India decided to send in Axar Patel instead.

While spinner all-rounder Axar Patel could manage only 10 off 11 deliveries, finisher keeper Dinesh Karthik, who arrived at No 7 with five overs left, overcame a slow start to knock an unbeaten 30 off 21. However, India could only post 148 for 6 in a four-wicket defeat.

Dinesh Karthik had taken IPL 2022 by storm with his incredible power-hitting skills in the slog overs. He scored 330 runs in 16 innings at a strike rate of 183.33 with one half-century averaging 55.  Dinesh Karthik made his India debut in 2004 and went on to play India’s first-ever T20I match. If all goes well, he will play the ICC T20I World Cup 2022 at the ripe age of 36.

Gautam Gambhir Doesn’t See Dinesh Karthik Selected In Indian Squad for T20I World Cup 2022 Once Regular Batters Return

When asked about Dinesh Karthik’s possible selection for T20I World Cup 2022, Gautam Gambhir pointed out how the return of KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja will make it tough for Dinesh Karthik to hold on to a spot.

“Too early to say. T20 World Cup is far ahead. He needs to consistently perform till then but if he wants to bat only in the last three overs, things could get tough. India will definitely be looking at someone in the top 7 who can bowl and if Axar is batting at 7, the team would be a batter short.”

“In such a case I would not have him (Karthik) in the World Cup Squad. I would definitely have people like Rishabh Pant, and Deepak Hooda (in the team).

“We have got KL Rahul, we’ve got Suryakumar Yadav, Rohit Sharma. Once they come back, it’s going to be tough for Dinesh Karthik to find a place in the playing XI. If he doesn’t have a place in the playing XI, there’s no point giving him a place in the squad,” Gambhir opined.

KL Rahul And Rohit Sharma (Image Credit: Twitter)
KL Rahul And Rohit Sharma (Image Credit: Twitter)

Further delving into the topic, Gautam Gambhir feels the only way Dinesh Karthik can make it to the Indian team for the T20I World Cup 2022 is if the selectors decide to drop one of the top 4.

“Once KL, Rohit, Surya and Virat are back, I don’t see him in the playing XI. This will be your top 4 and then you’ll have someone like Hooda, Pant, Hardik, and Jadeja.

“I will have a younger guy (in place of Karthik) who is a better fielder on those grounds and can probably chip in with a couple of overs as well. Karthik, unfortunately, will have to miss out unless and until the selectors make a huge call and drop one of the top four,” the cricketer-turned-politician concluded.

Dinesh Karthik has returned to India’s T20 setup, courtesy of his performances in the IPL. However, he would really need to produce his best cricket if he is to cement a place in the Indian team for the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year.

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