Just a few months ago when India was playing a test series in England, Dinesh Karthik commented for official broadcasters. After his success in the com box, when the TOI asked him if he would follow suit next season, Karthik said: “I will, if it doesn’t interfere with my cricket. My dream is still to play for India.”
At that moment, the dream seemed a bit strained. But after his feats with the bat in this IPL for Royal Challengers Bangalorea place on the T20 World Cup team in Australia in October-November no longer seems like a distant dream.
Karthik was in outstanding form in this IPL, hitting with an impact rate of 200, late lowering the ranking and bringing RCB to the edge of qualifying. Such was his impact as a finisher that RCB coxswain Faf du Plessis said on Sunday after his team won against Sunrisers Hyderabad that he plans to withdraw just to let Karthik inside.
“If DK continues to hit sixes like that, everyone wants to have him for as long as possible. In fact, I wanted to get out or retire to let him go,” Du Plessis said of Karthik’s 8-ball 30.
Sources close to Karthik told TOI that the right-hander has invested a lot of effort and hard work in the IPL this season. “He was just determined to tell himself he was far from retired. From playing training for India Cements two weeks before the IPL to working on his running and strength training specific to the finish, it was just a comprehensive effort on his part,” he said. source.
This brings us to the crucial question of whether these winning performances for RCB will help the 36-year-old get a place as a finisher in the Indian team for the T20 World Cup.
If, given the problems with Covid, it is a team of 20 members, Karthik will be almost certain. But the real competition begins if it’s a normal 15-member team (or a place in player XI). The Indian leadership of the team, when it comes to T20 cricket, looks to have numbers 6 and 7 as versatile players, two places just not reserved for Hardik Pandya (if a ball) and Ravindra Jadeja.
In that case, Karthik’s involvement just as a hitter could be difficult. “Karthik was in the national team of the 2019 World Cup with 50 more players as a reserve goalkeeper for MS Dhoni.
Although KL Rahul was not considered a goalkeeper at the time, Rishabh Pant was drafted only after players in 15 were injured. It is not easy to find a place for Karthik just as a hitter in 15, even if he is currently in great shape. But his chances are multiplied if someone from Panta or Rahul is injured, “former Indian beginner Devang Gandhi, who was part of the 2019 election committee, told TOI.
The fact that the T20 World Cup will be played in Australia, where the pitches will be significantly different, will also be taken into account.