Just a few days before the selectors sit down to name the squad for the upcoming five-match One-Day International series against Australia, wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik has sent a big signal with a brilliant hundred for India Red in the ongoing match against India Green in Duleep Trophy. With Team India struggling to get a good option for the number 4 spot, the timely century might pave the way for Karthik’s recall to the ODI team.
Team India has been trying out several players for the number 4 position in this year. From Yuvraj Singh to KL Rahul and Manish Pandey, all have been tried at that position but with little success and Karthik not getting a chance seems a bit baffling especially after the way he performed in domestic circuit last year.
He made a comeback to the ODI team during the Champions Trophy after a very fruitful outing in the last season of the domestic season as well as the Indian Premier League. He led Tamil Nadu to their fifth Vijay Hazare title by scoring 112 in the final against Bengal. He finished the 50-overs tournament as the top run-getter averaging 86.71 while scoring 607 runs in nine matches.
In the Ranji Trophy, he scored 704 runs in 10 matches at an average of 54.15. He continued his red-hot form in the Duleep Trophy as well where he scored 211 runs in the three games he played for India Blue. He also led Tamil Nadu to Deodhar Trophy title by scoring 247 runs in three matches. His form in the IPL was equally impressive where he amassed 361 runs in 14 outings at an average of a shade over 36.
However, he was surprisingly dropped from the squad for the recently-concluded series in Sri Lanka even though he had made his limited chances count on the Windies tour. But with India’s middle-order looking fragile in Sri Lanka, Karthik can get a recall for the upcoming series against Australia and he has only increased his chances with the century in the Duleep Trophy.
After India Red took a massive 166 runs lead in the first innings, first innings centurion Priyank Panchal and Dinesh Karthik batted the team to a commanding position on the penultimate day of the four-day tie here. Panchal, who became the 12th batsman to score a century a ton in both innings of the tournament, scored 133 not out while Karthik remained unbeaten on 100 before the latter declared the innings on 307 for 2, setting India Green an improbable target of 474.
In reply, India Green finished the day on 98 for 2 with opener Ravi Samarth (46) and Karun Nair (36) occupying the crease when the stumps were drawn. Murali Vijay failed to get going with the bat again and was dismissed by Karn Sharma for just 13.