Virat Kohli backs Dinesh Karthik’s World Cup selection over Rishabh Pant
The Indian chief selector MSK Prasad has also been vocal about the reasons why Karthik was selected ahead of anyone else.
Updated - May 16, 2019 11:11 am
With Dinesh Karthik’s inclusion in India’s 15-man World Cup squad as the backup wicketkeeper option ahead of Rishabh Pant drew a lot of flak from critics and fans. Many found the decision unfair as it undermines the talent of the 21-year-old from Roorkee. Having made his debut for India in 2004, Karthik lost his place to the then newcomer MS Dhoni. MS and Karthik are incidentally the two most successful wicketkeepers in the Indian Premier League with 132 and 131 dismissals, respectively.
Having played 91 ODIs for India, Karthik has hardly been a regular in the team but at the age 33, he’s now got his golden opportunity. While the veteran wicketkeeper Dhoni remains the first choice for behind the stump duties in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup that is to be held in England and Wales, Karthik was chosen as the backup option if anything happens to Dhoni.
While the chief selector MSK Prasad has been vocal about the reasons why Karthik was selected, skipper Virat Kohli said that the 33-year-old batsman’s experience and ability to deliver under pressure earned him the spot. If we compare the exploits of Karthik and Pant in the recently concluded IPL, the youngster definitely overhauls the KKR captain. But as Kohli attested ahead of the T20 league would not impact the World Cup selection.
“In pressure situations, he’s[Dinesh Karthik] shown composure,” Kohli was quoted as saying by the TOI. “It was something that everybody on board was convinced about. He has the experience. If god forbid, something happens to MS [Dhoni], Karthik can be immensely valuable behind the wickets. As a finisher, he’s done well. So, it was the overall exposure to a tournament of this magnitude that was taken into primary consideration.”
Ravi Shastri diplomatic on players who missed out
Head coach Ravi Shastri also commented on the matter saying that when there’s a limit of just 15 players, some talented ones will always miss out but their value won’t be undermined. “We can very well imagine there’s more than an opinion in place that some capable guys have missed out. Heart goes out to them,” Shastri told CricketNext.