The MSK Prasad-led selection panel announced the 15-member Indian squad for the upcoming 2019 World Cup on Monday. There were many surprising selections and omissions done which created a lot of buzz on the various social media platforms. The talk of the town was experienced wicket-keeper batsman Dinesh Karthik’s selection ahead of Rishabh Pant.
The chief selector, MSK Prasad mentioned that they have decided to pick Karthik for the mega event due to his experience both as a batsman and wicket-keeper. However, he also noted that Karthik has been named as the reserve wicket-keeper after MS Dhoni.
"Definitely a case where we debated (at) length. We all (agreed) that either Rishabh Pant or Dinesh Karthik will come in only when [Dhoni] is injured. In an important game, wicket keeping is also important. That's the reason we went with Dinesh Karthik," quoted MSK Prasad.
Abhishek Nayar backs Karthik for multiple roles
India have picked Vijay Shankar for the much-debated number four position in the World Cup. However, former Indian cricketer and the current Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) mentor, Abhishek Nayar feels that Karthik has the ability to do the job at the number four position as well. Nayar backed Karthik’s versatility and mentioned that he can perform Kedar Jadhav’s finisher’s role as well as take up the opener’s role.
“He can play a Kedar Jadhav finisher’s role to a No 4 batsman’s role if needed. He can even open if needed. Being a good fielder adds that value. Of course, he’s backup wicketkeeper, but I’m pretty sure that the management will look at him as a specialist batsman if someone is slightly out of form,” said Abhishek Nayar as quoted by Sportstar.
He was full of gratitude
In 2016, Karthik sought the help of Nayar in order to improve his game. Nayar mentioned that being part of the World Cup squad is a very special thing for Karthik. “He was full of gratitude and spoke about the time when we got together three years ago. We were thinking about those days, not knowing where his career was going. So now being part of the World Cup is really special for someone like him,” Nayar added.