12/04/2022
Senior India wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik secured his spot in the 15-man India squad for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2022. But a pertinent question which remains to be answered is whether Karthik will get a spot in the playing eleven or Rishabh Pant, who is the only specialist left-hander in the top order with Ravindra Jadeja getting ruled out indefinitely.

The 37-year-old cricketer from Tamil Nadu – who has been regarded as one of the best finishers in the T20 format in the business – managed to convince the faith of national selectors to confirm his berth for the showpiece event.

Soon after his selection to the world cup squad, the right-handed batter took to his Twitter handle and expressed his delight and posted a beautiful message on social media.

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Karthik has been presenting his case since the IPL 2022 with consistent batting performances for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and even the likes of Virat Kohli and their head coach Sanjay Bangar backed the senior pro to make it to the world cup squad.

Karthik – who has been performing on almost every occasion ever since making his India comeback in June 2022 – was rewarded and the cricketer took to his social media handle to express his joy. The middle-order batter wrote on his Twitter handle, “Dreams do come true (with a blue heart emoji).”

Who will play? Pant or Karthik?

Earlier, in an interview to BCCI.tv he had said: “These are small tick-boxes that we need to have at this point. But the ultimate goal is to do well in the T20 World Cup.

“I think this is a very different team and I am enjoying this set-up. There is a great sort of calmness that is around the captain and the coach, a lot of credit must go to them,” Karthik added.

Therefore, a pertinent question which remains to be answered is whether Karthik will get a spot in the playing eleven or Rishabh Pant, who is the only specialist left-hander in the top order with Ravindra Jadeja getting ruled out indefinitely.

What do stats say?

Soon after his comeback to the T20I squad in the 5-match T20I series against South Africa at home, Karthik smashed a match-winning 55 off 27 balls, guiding his team to a massive 82-run win. In the 18 T20Is he’s played in the 2022 season, Karthik has scored 193 runs and scored runs at a strike rate of 133.10.

While his competitor Pant has played 15 games in the 2022 season and scored 245 runs at a strike rate of 127.41. The southpaw has, however, got to bat higher in the batting order and even opened the innings in England. Karthik, however, has proven his credentials as a more reliable middle-order batter in whatever chances he got. He has finished games under pressure and won games with his batting in crunch situations.

India – who were knocked out of the just concluded Asia Cup 2022 from the Super 4 stage – will play their opening T20 WC match against Pakistan at the MCG on October 23.