At the age of 37, Dinesh Karthik reached the peak of his football career in the past few months with scintillating performances at the IPL 2022 for RCB and then successfully returned to the Indian side three years later.
Dinesh Karthik made an amazing comeback
Dinesh Karthik has been so devastating and reliable in a game-ending specialist role that the right-handed has sealed his place in India’s squad for the T20 World Cup less than three months away in Australia, or perhaps even in India’s eleven.
Karthik’s devastating death prowess means he’ll be placed 6th or 7th, alternating with Ravindra Jadeja depending on the state of the match. Karthik is now unmissable from the Indian side, however, this has created a conundrum because India will now have to seat one or two big-name batsmen.
Here are three players who may miss the T20 World Cup squad because of Dinesh Karthik:
Ishan Kishan has apparently been booked as the reserve opener for Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul in the T20 side as well as a reserve guard for Pant – but until recently. Now, however, the left-handed may have come out of the fray with India opening with Rishabh Pant and even Suryakumar Yadav in England and the West Indies and Kishan was moved to the bench.
The opening match of the Mumbai Indians managed to make scores of 27, 15, 26, 3, 16 and 8 in his last 6 rounds with India. And with Dinesh Karthik on the side, India doesn’t need the skill set to hold him at the moment. And even if India needs a spare opener for the T20 World Cup, they have options in Pant, SKY and even Virat Kohli.
Sanju Samsun is now farther out from India’s T20 World Cup squad than he was, say, prior to IPL 2022 when he was called up for the Sri Lanka Series. Although he has put in decent performances in recent months in chances during the IPL and also hit 77 against Ireland, Samson was dropped from the T20 teams for England and the West Indies, but was only added to the West Indies after KL Rahul was disqualified.
Samson is not seen as an open option for India – already jam-packed – but as an average choice. But with everyone back in the AFC Asian Cup and Karthik cementing his place as a striker, Samson is likely to be left out of the 15-man AFC Asian Cup squad and also from the T20 World Cup squad.
Shreyas Iyer was a reserve/backup player for the 2021 T20 World Cup last year in the UAE. It is very likely that he will once again be a reserve player in India’s squad for this year’s T20 World Cup and again miss the 15-man squad. Shreyas’ weakness in the face of short balls, especially those that hit his body, is now known by every coach and opposition team and will be exploited in Australian courts.
With Suryakumar Yadav and Dinesh Karthik in India’s top eleven and possibly even the likes of Kishan or Deepak Hooda in battle, Shreyas is unlikely to make it to the final 15.