Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has opined that a good performance from the Kolkata Knight Riders' (KKR) captain Dinesh Karthik in IPL 2020 can bring him back in the reckoning for a spot in the Indian team for T20 Internationals.
Aakash Chopra made these observations while answering to viewer questions in a video shared on his Facebook page.
The renowned commentator was asked if a good IPL could bring Dinesh Karthik back in India's T20 team at the No. 5 spot, considering that Rishabh Pant and Manish Pandey have not cemented their place at that position, with the KKR captain being a good wicket-keeper as well.
Aakash Chopra responded that Dinesh Karthik could stage a comeback to the Indian team but that he is not sure if it is likely to happen.
"I feel what you are saying is correct. He can definitely come back. But whether he will be able to do so."
The former KKR player observed that Dinesh Karthik bats too far down the order for the Kolkata-based franchise, and thereby doesn't get opportunities to make a significant contribution that could impress the Indian selectors.
"First thing is he should bat up the order for KKR. Because he bats too low down the order and when you bat so low, then your turn doesn't come. So he has to bat up the order so that he can make a lot of runs."
"Otherwise if he bats at No.5 even when he is the captain of an IPL team, he will not have that many runs so that he can stake a claim."
Aakash Chopra on the competition for Dinesh Karthik within the Indian team
While acknowledging that Dinesh Karthik is a good wicket-keeper, Aakash Chopra cited the presence of KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant to drive home the point that the Tamil Nadu gloveman would have to perform well in the upcoming two IPLs to stand a chance to make it to the Indian team for the 2021 T20 World Cup.
"Yes, he does well as a keeper. But don't forget that at the moment the Indian team has KL Rahul as well apart from Rishabh Pant. So, if Dinesh Karthik wants to get a spot in the Indian team for the 2021 World Cup, then he will have to play two good IPLs."
Aakash Chopra signed off by iterating that Dinesh Karthik would have to bat at the No. 4 position in the KKR team to stake a place for a spot in the Indian squad.
"And in my opinion he will have to somehow manage to bat at No.4 in which case he can come in the team, there is no doubt about it."
Dinesh Karthik has represented India in 32 T20Is, scoring 399 runs at a decent average of 33.25 and an impressive strike rate of 143.52. His biggest claim to fame was the unbeaten 29-run knock he played off just 8 deliveries, which helped India win the 2018 Nidahas Trophy.