There are three reasons Dinesh Karthik could make a comeback for India after being dropped from the T20I squad following the World Cup in Australia. Karthik did not have a memorable season with the willow, despite being selected for the ICC event due to his stupendous batting form.
He played in three innings and scored one run against Pakistan, six runs against South Africa, and seven runs against Bangladesh.
Following that, Rishabh Pant received the nod to play in both the final Super 12 match against Zimbabwe and the semi-final match against England. The 37-year-old stumper for Tamil Nadu was not selected to play in the New Zealand T20Is or the Sri Lanka series at home.
Karthik’s 60 T20I appearances, in which he has scored 686 runs at a strike rate of 142.61, appear unlikely to be extended. But is it reasonable to conclude that this is the end of the road for the Indian cricket comeback man?
We look at three reasons why he still has a very small chance of making a comeback.
#1 It won’t be easy to find a finisher like him
Prior to his success in IPL 2022 for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Karthik was known for being able to play cameos that changed the game. However, there was never exact consistency. His heroics in the 2018 Nidahas Trophy final raised hopes for a comeback. After that, however, things went back to the same old story.
He was shown in a completely different avatar in IPL 2022. He frequently entered the game with just a few outs and grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck. It was no fluke to score 330 runs in 16 matches at an average of 55 and a strike rate of 183.33. Karthik was not alone in his madness; He was aware of his actions.
The daring right-handed batter was able to carry over his IPL form into international cricket by playing a few similar runs in a few bilateral matches. Unfortunately, he was unable to duplicate his success at the T20 World Cup, though it could be argued that he may not have had enough opportunities to make an impact.
#2 Karthik’s fitness is not a problem
If the Indian think tank takes into account the fact that Karthik will be 39 years old by the time the next T20 World Cup takes place in 2024, then this should not be a big deal. If Karthik is in good health, only his form should be taken into consideration when making a selection. He is one of the fittest cricketers in the world.
Keep in mind that this is T20 cricket, where a player can make an impact with either the bat or the ball in a few deliveries. There is no reason why the selectors shouldn’t give Karthik another chance to play in the IPL in 2023 if he has another successful season with RCB.
Naturally, it also depends on whether he still has the strength to persevere once more and compete for a spot in the Indian T20I squad.
One can understand the keeper-batter’s desire to view life in a different light because he has gone through the difficult grind numerous times throughout his career. But his performance in the IPL 2023 will be crucial if he wants to play in another World Cup.
#3 Rishabh Pant’s T20I struggles
Pant was in a terrible car accident, not only for him but also for Indian cricket and its fans. However, the fact of the matter is that the left-hander has performed terribly in T20I cricket, despite the sentiments.
In every format, he was to be the designated keeper-batter. He was not included in the Indian squad for the ongoing white-ball series against Sri Lanka, for reasons that are unclear.
According to reports in the media, Pant is unlikely to return to action anytime soon, even though there is no official word yet on how long he might be out of action. Ishan Kishan is keeping wickets in the T20I matches against Sri Lanka in his absence. India has Sanju Samson and the other option for keeping. They are, however, not finishers.
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