Dinesh Karthik's heroics might make MS Dhoni's job easier
With tranquillity visible in his eyes and perseverance reflecting in his strides, in walked Dinesh Karthik. The crowd was at a standstill as the Men in Blue required 34 runs off the final 12 deliveries. The celebrations had already begun in Bangladesh and many television sets were switched off in India before Dinesh Karthik pulled off a miraculous victory from his closet which was locked for years.
The closet which was being filled every day with experience was to unleash once and how. In the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2017, Dinesh Karthik scored 607 runs at an average of 86.71 for Tamil Nadu. This paved off the way for his international comeback with the Champions Trophy lined up after the Indian Premier League (IPL). In my opinion, the Tamil Nadu lad is one of the most underappreciated cricketers of Indian cricket.
With little opportunities, Karthik has managed to make a name for himself. In the shadow of the finest Indian wicketkeeper to have graced the game, Karthik has worked behind the scenes like an action body double who performs when needed.
The Nidahas Trophy was one such break for DK. From guiding the bowler from behind the stumps to helping skipper Rohit Sharma set the fields, Karthik did everything with the utmost perfection.
This miraculous innings may have helped Karthik to establish himself as a finisher in the shorter version of the game. His finishing abilities can be viewed with another perspective. Karthik may take the finisher's role in ODI cricket and allow MS Dhoni more space at No. 4.
In the recent past with his growing age, veteran MS Dhoni has started to take his time to settle in at the crease. Over the years his strike rate has decreased considerably and the finisher tag is slowly being snatched away.
Dhoni's experience and cricketing mind are enough to keep him in the scheme of things. Moreover, his lightning hands behind the stumps are an addition to his value. All these facets make him an invaluable asset for the Indian side.
Even with age not on his side, Dhoni belongs to the few cricketers who are in the elite class. It is inevitable that MS Dhoni will be a part of the Indian setup for the ICC World Cup 2019 to be held in England. The 36-year-old will take the responsibility from behind the stumps.
India's struggling middle order in limited overs cricket can look up to Dinesh Karthik to solve their middle order woes. MS Dhoni at No. 4, Kedar Jadhav or Manish Pandey at No. 5 and Dinesh Karthik at No. 6 would be an ideal combination.
The Men in Blue have struggled with their number four batsman. They have tried ten different batsmen at this position since the 2015 World Cup. The everlasting problem can be solved with the fan's perspective of sending MS Dhoni at No. 4.
Dhoni's average of 55.91 at the aforementioned position is a boost for the Indian side. His strike rate goes up to 95 when batting at this position. The strike rate goes even higher when he has played 30 or more balls.
On the other hand, Dinesh Karthik has done little justice to his talent in one-day cricket averaging only 29.92 from 67 innings. His performance has been hindered by many factors. He was under immense pressure to save his spot in the side when he was a youngster.
Times have changed and the 32-year-old has learnt to tackle pressure with sheer ease. Both Dhoni and Karthik fans will be delighted if Dhoni bats at No. 4 and Karthik shoulders the finishing responsibilities.