New Zealand vs India 2019: Why it is wrong to blame Dinesh Karthik for India's T20I series loss
It's been exactly two days since the series decider at Hamilton got over. And predictably, most of the Indian fans and IPL team pages have started to take digs at India's new limited-overs finisher Dinesh Karthik; the man has been subjected to immense trolling on social media for the last 48 hours, with constant unfavorable comparisons being made between him and MS Dhoni.
But does he deserve all the hate?
For one thing, Karthik is in the early stage of his role as the 'finisher', and we cannot expect him to perform like MS Dhoni right away. He has shown plenty of promise in this role, but not everybody can be Dhoni.
We are probably forgetting that there have been several instances when Dhoni himself has been unable to finish a match. Comparing the two players and saying that Karthik is no Dhoni makes very little sense.
Secondly, Karthik is just one of the reasons for India's loss. The team didn't get off to a flying start, nor did Dhoni 2(4) or the bowling help the visitors. In fact, after Rishabh Pant, Karthik had the highest strike rate for India in that innings (206.25).
Blaming Karthik alone isn't right, and is actually pretty baseless.
The role of a finisher is very tricky, and you get better at it only when you get to play a lot in those crucial situations. Dhoni didn't become the world's best finisher overnight; it took him years of practice and planning in each innings to earn this tag.
Karthik will get better too after this match, because he knows what he did wrong (denying the single). In all likelihood, he correct that in the upcoming matches.
Cricket pundits bashing Karthik for denying the single, and comparing him with the great man Dhoni, should recall the T20 match against England at Birmingham where even Dhoni did the same mistake of denying the single which cost India the match. In that instance, they were chasing an even lower target, 181.
Does that make Dhoni a bad finisher? No. Was Dhoni the sole reason for the loss? No.
There might have been plenty of reasons for Karthik to not take the single. Maybe he was confident enough to finish it on his own. There was another instance where Karthik and Krunal Pandya were batting together, and India lost the match in the final over; maybe that was at the back of Karthik's mind.
Of course, not all experts have been panning Karthik; this is what Harsha Bhogle had to say after the match:
Maybe we should all take a cue from that. Karthik is India's newfound finisher in his own way, and he deserves all the support he can get.