Dinesh Karthik has dissected India’s performance in their six-wicket loss to England on Friday. The wicket-keeper-batsman felt the hosts missed a trick by bringing in the spinners early against Ben Stokes.
Ben Stokes agonizingly missed out on a well-deserved hundred, getting out for 99 runs off just 52 balls. The all-rounder, who looked in sublime touch, admitted after the game that he wanted to target the spinners from ball one.
During the post-match show on Sky Sports, Dinesh Karthik suggested he would not have introduced Krunal Pandya against Stokes when the southpaw came out to bat.
“When Ben Stokes walked in, Krunal Pandya hadn’t bowled. He had just come onto bowl. I felt at that stage maybe Shardul Thakur (could have bowled) an over, because he has this ability to pick up wickets. But then he (Virat Kohli) went for Krunal Pandya. The matchup is such that if Ben Stokes gets going, forget Krunal, any left-arm spinner in the world, he takes them down,” Karthik said.
Stokes was particularly impressive against the Indian spinners - Kuldeep Yadav and Krunal Pandya - with the left-handed batsman hitting all 10 of his sixes against the spinning duo. After the game, Ben Stokes revealed that he purposely kept Jonny Bairstow at the other end when Pandya and Kuldeep were bowling.
Discussing Stokes’ stunning batting effort, Dinesh Karthik said:
“It was one of those days where it was hard to stop Stokes. Almost every shot he played he was looking to hit a six. Just the way he set up before the ball was bowled, you knew the intent was to go for the big one.”
Dinesh Karthik feels for struggling Kuldeep Yadav
Kuldeep Yadav has struggled during the ongoing ODI series, with the left-arm spinner yet to pick up a wicket in two games. The 26-year-old, who has a high economy rate, was once again taken to the cleaners in the second ODI. Dinesh Karthik felt sorry for the under-fire spinner and said:
“Kuldeep personally, the poor guy has had a tough time. He has been sitting out for a long time. He comes in, he has had a couple of games here, but it has really not gone his way.”
The performance capped off a difficult couple of years for Kuldeep, who has fallen out of favor across all three formats. But Dinesh Karthik backed the spinner to bounce back.
“But these things happen to international cricketers. He needs to chin up, get stronger. He has got a couple of very important months. Not only in his white-ball career but also for his red-ball career in the form of IPL. He needs to buck up and do the best he can in the next couple of months,” Karthik added.
With Kuldeep Yadav going wicketless in the first two games, it remains to be seen if he will play in the series decider on Sunday. In all likelihood, he will be replaced by Yuzvendra Chahal in the third ODI.