Former India opener Gautam Gambhir feels that the veteran wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik will have to perform consistently to get a chance in India’s T20 World Cup 2022 squad. However, Gambhir believes that things could get difficult for the veteran wicketkeeper-batsman if he wants to bat only in the last 3 overs.
Dinesh Karthik got his India recall after his outstanding performance in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 where he finished several games in style for the Faf du Plessis-led Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).
Speaking on Star Sports’ show Match Point, Gambhir was asked about Karthik’s 30 runs off 21 balls against South Africa in the second T20I. The former India opener said that he was amazed to see Axar batting ahead of Karthik.
“It was very valuable (the knock), he has been doing that for the last 2-3 months for RCB. But, I was a bit amazed that Axar came ahead of Dinesh Karthik. I would’ve been more happy if he had come ahead of Axar,” said Gambhir.
Gambhir was further asked about Karthik’s possible selection for T20 World Cup 2022 to which he replied:
“Too early to say. T20 World Cup is far ahead. He needs to consistently perform till then but if he wants to bat only in the last three overs, things could get tough. India will definitely be looking at someone in the top 7 who can bowl and if Axar is batting at 7, the team would be a batter short.”
If he doesn’t have a place in the playing XI, there’s no point giving him a place in the squad – Gautam Gambhir on Dinesh Karthik
Gambhir further mentioned that the return of KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Suryakumar Yadav will make it tougher for Karthik to retain a place in the team.
“In such a case I would not have him (Karthik) in the World Cup Squad. I would definitely have people like Rishabh Pant, and Deepak Hooda (in the team). We have got KL Rahul, we’ve got Suryakumar Yadav, Rohit Sharma.
“Once they come back, it’s going to be tough for Dinesh Karthik to find a place in the playing XI. If he doesn’t have a place in the playing XI, there’s no point giving him a place in the squad,” Gambhir opined.
“Once KL, Rohit, Surya and Virat are back, I don’t see him in the playing XI. This will be your top 4 and then you’ll have someone like Hooda, Pant, Hardik, Jadeja. I will have a younger guy (in place of Karthik) who is a better fielder on those grounds and can probably chip in with a couple of overs as well.”
Gambhir concluded by saying that Karthik can only get a chance in the team if the BCCI selectors drop one of the top four batters.
“Karthik, unfortunately, will have to miss out unless and until the selectors make a huge call and drop one of the top four,” he concluded.
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