Sunil Gavaskar backs Dinesh Karthik to be the third opener for India in World Cup 2019

Sunil Gavaskar backs Dinesh Karthik to be the third opener for India in World Cup 2019

KL Rahul still hasn't convinced the selectors thanks to his poor form.

Dinesh Karthik
Dinesh Karthik (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

Dinesh Karthik failed miserably in India’s first T20I against New Zealand in Wellington on Wednesday. But the former cricketer Sunil Gavaskar still feels that the wicketkeeper-batsman is capable of being chosen as India’s third opener in the ICC World Cup beginning in May. Karthik could manage just five off six deliveries as India suffered their worst loss in the shortest format – by 80 runs – to the Black Caps to concede 0-1 lead.

While India’s middle-order looked more settled with the likes of captain Virat Kohli, Ambati Rayudu and MS Dhoni with Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant returning to extend more solidity to the batting line-up, one concern remained over who would chip in as an opener in case either of the two established partners – Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan failed to turn up. KL Rahul is another opener doing the duty for India but his current form is too bad to convince the selectors.

Dinesh Karthik has had an on-and-off career in international cricket despite playing for almost 15 years now. He has had produced some match-finishing innings in the 50- and 20-over formats in the recent past, including in Australia and New Zealand and that could work in his favour when the final squad for the WC is eventually picked.

“I am looking at him [Dinesh Karthik] as the third opener for the World Cup. Look you need to have a spare opener. I will look at him as a possible third opener,” Gavaskar was quoted by India Today as saying after the first T20I.

Have seen Karthik in limited overs only as a finisher

“He has opened the batting for India in Test cricket and yet we so far we have only seen him in limited-overs cricket as a finisher, particularly taking it into account the Nidhahas Trophy final (in Sri Lanka against Bangladesh) which gave India the trophy.”

Gavaskar said the failure in the first T20I was one of those bad days for 33-year-old Karthik as it was for all other Indian batsmen. He said he didn’t feel that it dented India’s chances as the team has much more to play for ahead of the World Cup. India will take on New Zealand in the must-win second T20I in Auckland on February 8.

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