Dinesh Karthik’s resurgence as a dependable T20 player has been inspirational.
With consistent performances for his IPL franchise (RCB) and the Indian cricket team, Karthik has demonstrated his usefulness in the new Indian set-up and is now a front-runner to be selected for the T20 World Cup. From being written off after the 2019 Cricket WC to becoming a commentator to making a massive comeback to the game as a finisher is a fairy tale come true. And this is all happening at the ripe old age of 37.
Karthik is slowly but surely becoming a part of the Indian T-20 squad, which has led to him being included in India’s 15-member Asia Cup squad starting on August 27th in the UAE. His performance as a backup wicketkeeper and a finisher will be closely watched in the days ahead.
His Recent achievements:
Karthik scored 251 runs in the death overs (overs 16-20) in 121 deliveries at a strike rate of 207.4 and a boundary practically every three balls in 13 innings for Royal Challengers Bangalore. For India, he has followed in the same footsteps. Karthik faced 104 balls in the death overs, scoring 164 runs with a strike rate of 157.7 and averaging a boundary per 4.0 balls.
Karthik failed to impress in the West Indies, scoring 66 runs at an average of 22.0 and a strike rate of 132 over the course of four innings. He did play a fantastic knock in the first game of the five-game series, scoring a scorching 41 off only 19 deliveries.
So what do the Experts have to say about this rising Phoenix which refuses to die? The passage below contains opinions voiced by three WX-Indian cricketers; none endorse him! Please read on.
1. Former Indian cricket team captain K. Srikkanth (On Star Sports):
Srikanth’s Definition of a Finisher
“What do you mean by a finisher? In my book, the Finisher is the guy who can take the batting from the 8th or 12th over, go on till the 20th over, and win the match for India. He starts from the 8th or the 6th over, but where is the good Finisher? KL Rahul is a good finisher; Rohit Sharma is a good finisher. They go opening, by the way,” Srikanth said.
Srikanth defends his statement (direct Quote)
“I just can’t say that you bat the last 5 overs and say he’s a finisher. I would like to term Dinesh Karthik; he definitely finds a place in my team too. I would call Dinesh Karthik a fine finisher but actual finishers are guys like Suryakumar Yadav. He is a brilliant finisher. You have Rishabh Pant, who is a brilliant finisher. You have Hardik Pandya, who is a brilliant finisher too. I think I would like to clarify that a finisher is a guy who takes the team from the 8th over and goes on till the 20th over.”
2. Former India cricketer Vivek Razdan (On Fan Code):
“Picking Dinesh Karthik only as a finisher, and blocking that space, seems very bizarre to me. You tell me who among Suryakumar Yadav, Virat Kohli, Deepak Hooda, and Hardik Pandya can’t do that job of a finisher?”
He added further, “Finisher’s role is one such that it is hard to be consistent. Every time you get in, you should be able to make an impact that will help the team. It works both ways, the bowlers are clever, and they try to force you to hit into the wind as much as possible. That makes it all the tougher”.
3. Ajay Jadeja, former cricket player for India (on Fan Code)
“Now if you want to play the way I have heard them…aggressive then you have to pick differently. If Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma walk in, you need Dinesh Karthik at all costs. He is your insurance. But if you don’t have either of them then Dinesh Karthik has no work here. But yes I would not put Karthik there; he can have a seat beside me. He is very good as a commentator. But there, in the team, I would not pick him! ”
Jadeja continued, “I have added Shami to the team. So for me, I select bowlers first. So Shami is a certainty. Bumrah, Arshdeep and Chahal. These are the four certainties. Four are certainties for me in batting: Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, Suryakumar Yadav, and Deepak Hooda. For this bowling attack, you have powerplay, middle overs and death overs sorted”.
All the critics can’t help admiring Dinesh Karthik for his exploits, but they feel he falls short of the mark. At 37, Dinesh Karthik had to re-work his career after being dropped from the team due to MS. Dhoni’s presence. After the former’s retirement, Dhoni did better than Karthik, in walked Rishabh Pant. Karthik had to bide his time once again but performed well when given a chance. The last over against Bangladesh is testimony to his prowess.
D. K . as he is affectionately called, has one last chance. A chance he earned against the odds. We would know whether all these critics were wrong or correct by the end of the Asia Cup. All the best, DK!