The Tamil Nadu-born player has claimed the first-choice wicket-keeper spot over Rishabh Pant due to his consistent exploits in the lower-middle order. While Karthik has been largely reserved for the back end of the innings, he was promoted to No. 4 in the third T20I against South Africa on Tuesday, October 4. He top-scored for India in their 50-run loss in the series finale with an aggressive 21-ball 46-run knock.
Opining that Dinesh Karthik is more than a finisher, Parthiv Patel said on Cricbuzz:
"Dinesh Karthik is not a batter who can only play in the last four overs of an innings. Granted, he has played really well in that role, but he can contribute a lot more than just that."
"He is capable of playing innings like in this contest. So, he should not be viewed solely as a batter for the death overs."
Since making his comeback in national colors, Karthik has played 24 T20Is, scoring 227 runs at an average of 22.7. Out of 18 innings with the bat this year, he has ended with a strike rate in excess of 130 on seven occasions.
"He always finds a way to get out somehow" - Parthiv Patel on Rishabh Pant
In the absence of KL Rahul, skipper Rohit Sharma opened the innings with Rishabh Pant. The left-handed wicket-keeper had to make his mark rightaway with a steep target of 228 on the board.
Pant looked in good touch during his 14-ball 27-run knock in the powerplay. However, his innings was cut short courtesy of a sharp catch by Tristan Stubbs off Lungi Ngidi in the fifth over.
Opining that there were a lot of good and poor shots on offer by the Indian batters during the run chase, Patel said:
"Everyone came in and went for their shots from the word go. No one tried to build an innings. Rishabh Pant was looking in good touch, but he always finds a way to get out somehow. Even Dinesh Karthik played really well. Got to see a lot of really great shots, but a lot of poor shots at the same time as well."
The Men in Blue completed their first T20I series win over South Africa at home despite a heavy loss in the third T20I. Rohit Sharma's side emerged as winners by a 2-1 margin following their wins in Thiruvananthapuram and Guwahati.
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