IPL 2019: Dinesh Karthik’s 97* against Rajasthan Royals augurs well for India in World Cup
After the announcement of India’s 15-member World Cup squad, there have been endless debates on a few choices, especially of Vijay Shankar over Ambati Rayudu and that of Dinesh Karthik over Rishabh Pant.
It is the latter that has continued to remain a hotly debated topic thanks to Pant exhibiting scintillating form in the last few IPL matches though he is yet to score really big as yet, and unfortunately for Karthik, the last few matches have seen him struggling both as a batsman and as a captain.
Under his captaincy, Kolkata Knight Riders has been on a losing streak in the last five matches and his own batting failures have in no small way contributed to that streak. But more than the captaincy, it is his batting form that seemed to be a cause of concern for the Indian fans.
Karthik may have been selected as the back-up wicketkeeper. But that does not mean he is certain to sit out in every match. With an untested Vijay Shankar’s surprise selection as India’s preferred number four, at least if we go by what the chief selector’s words, there is a possibility that Karthik may be preferred to Shankar in the middle order in some matches.
In the last few matches, Shankar seems to have shown his frailties against spin. So, if certain grounds in England are spinner friendly or/and if the opposition has an array of decent spinners, Karthik could very well be preferred over Shankar. This is a very likely scenario because Shankar’s medium pace bowling will also be not required on a spinning surface.
That is why it is of utmost importance to have an in-form Karthik ready to step in and perform the role of a middle-order batsman for India, when the need be. In that context, the Indian cricket fan must have heaved a sigh of relief today after Karthik produced his best knock in the IPL this season where he scored 97 runs off just 50 balls against a decent Rajasthan Royals bowling unit.
From the World Cup point of view, it is immaterial whether this knock comes in a winning cause or not. It is great to see Karthik back in good batting form again. He needs to continue that form so that we see a confident Karthik stepping up during the upcoming World Cup.
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