Veteran Wicket-keeper batsman Dinesh Karthik has been named as the replacement for Manish Pandey after the latter sustained an injury during a practice session. Karthik, who was a part of India’s successful Champions Trophy campaign in 2013, has had a wonderful year with both the bat and gloves so far.
According to a BCCI statement, the 27 year old Pandey, who has had a decent season with the bat for the Kolkata Knight Riders so far in the Indian Premier League sustained a left side strain during a practice session. He was not a part of the KKR side that romped to victory against the defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Eliminator on Wednesday.
The MSK Prasad led selection committee thus went for the experienced Dinesh Karthik to replace Pandey for the Champions Trophy and in an interaction with Sportstar, Prasad said, “He (Karthik) was already kept as a stand-by, and with Manish suffering an injury, we chose to bring him in.”
The chief selector further stated that the veteran Tamil Nadu cricketer deserved this opportunity after having had a successful domestic season behind him.
Said MSK, “He has had a great domestic season and his experience will help the team in England.”
Dinesh Karthik has had a wonderful time with the bat so far this year. In the Ranji Trophy, he scored 704 runs from just 10 games that he played. The successful Vijay Hazare Trophy campaign for Tamil Nadu saw the 31- year old score 607 runs from just nine innings and it was his all-important 112 in the final that helped his side clinch the title, defeating Bengal.
In the IPL, he scored a total of 361 runs from 14 matches and was one of the most consistent performers for his franchise- the Gujarat Lions. His recall to the Indian side has pleased Tamil Nadu coach Hrishikesh Kanitkar, who believed that his consistency is what led to his recall to the team after a span of three years.
Speaking to the Times of India, he said, “I can’t be happier at Karthik’s call-up. If you look at his performances right through the season, the thing that stands out for me has been his ability to convert the starts. Irrespective of the format, we could always count on Karthik to deliver and he did just that. Being a senior member of the side, he shouldered the bulk of responsibility and this call-up to national side is a tribute to his consistency,”
Dinesh Karthik was a part of the solid middle order of the Indian side during their last Champions Trophy campaign in 2013, where he scored a total of 82 runs in four innings, playing purely as a batsman.
This time too, he might play a similar role in the team and his wicket-keeping skills can only be utilized if Mahendra Singh Dhoni injures himself in the ‘mini-World Cup’.
His recall to the Indian side only goes to show that consistency at the domestic level rewards a player appropriately.
-Kolkata Bureau (With inputs from TOI and Sportstar)