Veteran Indian wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik believes that among all the slots that are up for grabs in the Indian team, the toughest one is of the third opening batsman.
Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul have become the permanent opener for India in the T20I format, and they have been doing a sensational job so far for the team. In the recently concluded New Zealand T20I series, they added a half-century partnership in the first match and a 117-run stand in the second match.
However, in the third T20I, Rahul was rested, and Ishan Kishan came in as his replacement, and he too added 69 runs with Rohit Sharma.
Notably, India named 5 openers in the squad for the three-match T20I against New Zealand at home, including Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Venkatesh Iyer.
Among the above-mentioned players, only Ruturaj Gaikwad, who was the orange cap winner in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021, didn’t get the opportunity in the Playing XI. Also, KKR opener Venkatesh Iyer played as a middle-order batsman in the series.
That’s The Strength Of Indian Cricket, And The Beauty Is We Have Two Solid Openers, Arguably Two Of The World’s Best – Dinesh Karthik
Meanwhile, Dinesh Karthik said that there are some terrific players like Shikhar Dhawan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devdutt Padikkal, Venkatesh Iyer and Ishan Kishan, fighting for the third opener slot in the team and India are blessed to already have two of the best openers, Rohit and Rahul at the top.
“That time will tell. Among all those slots that are up for grabs, the toughest spot is in the third opener. There are some terrific names.
“People from Shikhar Dhawan, Rituraj Gaikwad, Devdutt Padikkal, Venkatesh Iyer, Ishan Kishan, I can throw you a few more names. That’s the strength of Indian cricket and the beauty is we have two solid openers, arguably two of the world’s best,” he said.
Dinesh Karthik mentioned that any openers who comes into the team have to play at number 3. However, he highlighted that with the return of Virat Kohli, the no. 3 slot will be gone, and the only slot remaining will be of the backup opener.
“Whoever comes in either has to fit themselves in at No.3, but Virat Kohli will again return and reclaim it. So the only chance is being a back-up opener.
“Ishan Kishan in all fairness has done a fabulous job in the last couple of matches for Mumbai Indians and in the practice matches although he did not get opportunities in the T20 World Cup. So he has been in good nick,” he elaborated.
“The problem with the third opener is that you get only one opportunity. After this, we don’t even know when the next series will be. By that time, some other guy comes and scores because he played a few good domestic matches. That’s the headache of being an Indian cricketer. You have to be consistently performing,” he further added.
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