Asia Cup 2022: 3 reasons why India must persist with Dinesh Karthik as their wicketkeeper

A few eyebrows were raised when Rohit Sharma announced that Dinesh Karthik had been selected in India’s playing XI for their Asia Cup 2022 opener against Pakistan. The right-hander was given the nod ahead of Rishabh Pant and this started a debate on whether the move was the right one.

While Pant found form in the shortest format in the recent series against West Indies, Karthik was selected purely as a finisher in the squad.

“With Hardik Pandya and Dinesh Karthik batting down the order, I think it’s going to be difficult for most opposition bowlers,” former India spinner Harbhajan Singh said, lauding India’s move to play the right-hander.

It came down to fitness of the fast bowlers while put under pressure, though both teams’ pacers bowled well upfront.Crucial knock by Hardik to stay till the end & get us over the line & ably supported by @imjadeja & Virat.Congrats 🇮🇳 on a nail-biting win.#INDvsPAK

While Karthik did not get the opportunity to make an impact with the bat, he will surely be needed when the pressure is amped.

Check out who is at the top of the Asia Cup 2022 points table.

We take a look at three reasons why he should play as the regular wicketkeeper-batter for India:

#3 Impact against pacers as opposed to spinners

Dinesh Karthik has a stunning record against pacers.
Dinesh Karthik has a stunning record against pacers.

Captains often use pacers in the death overs and this is where Dinesh Karthik can use his experience, not only in the Asia Cup, but also in Australia. His numbers against pacers are far better as opposed to spinners.

Karthik has been dominant against the pacers. He has smashed 258 runs at an average of 86 with a strike rate of 224 and has been dismissed only thrice by seamers in 14 innings.

However, he was far more cautious against spin – 72 runs at a strike rate of 110. This can really improve India’s chances in the death overs, especially when the pacers are involved in the battle.

#2 Experience matters

Dinesh Karthik's experience will matter in pressure situations.
Dinesh Karthik’s experience will matter in pressure situations.

There will be instances where there will be immense pressure and Karthik’s experience will be invaluable and unmatchable there. He was named Player of the Match in India’s first-ever T20I way back in 2006.

In his long career, he has witnessed the game evolve and has been part of the change.

Pant, for all his talent, is still relatively inexperienced at this level. Apart from this, Karthik will be more useful in the middle order where Ravindra Jadeja has solved the left-hander conundrum.

He has been picked as a finisher, a role that he perfected in the IPL and a role that will be crucial to India’s chances in the Asia Cup and the upcoming T20 World Cup.

#1 Dinesh Karthik is in superb hitting form

Dinesh Karthik had a great IPL this year
Dinesh Karthik had a great IPL this year

Karthik has been able to make a comeback to the Indian team due to a sensational 2022 IPL. He was picked up by the Royal Challengers Bangalore and was one of their best players of the season.

He smashed 330 runs at a strike rate of 183. He creamed 251 runs in the final four overs at a strike rate of 207.

With his neat glovework and experience as a finisher, it was a good move by the Indian camp to play him ahead of Pant in the first match against Pakistan.

Q. Who should be India’s wicket-keeper batter in T20 World Cup?

87 votes so far

Edited by Sankalp Srivastava

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