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ICC World Cup 2019: Why the selectors are right to select Dinesh Karthik over Rishabh Pant

Vishal Rathi
ANALYST
Feature
802   //    Timeless

Dinesh Karthik (Left) and Rishabh Pant (Right)
Dinesh Karthik (Left) and Rishabh Pant (Right)

India's selection panel, led by chief selector MSK Prasad, earlier today named the 15-man squad that will be heading to England in late May to try and win the World Cup trophy for the third time.

While KL Rahul, Dinesh Karthik, Vijay Shankar and Ravindra Jadeja succeeded in making it to the final 15, there was no place in the team for either Rishabh Pant or Ambati Rayudu.

Many fans around the country are calling the selection of Karthik over Pant wrong, as the latter has looked in good touch so far in the IPL 2019 while Karthik has found it tough to get going in the tournament.

However, it was already made clear by the selectors and Virat Kohli himself that IPL performances wouldn’t make any difference to the World Cup 2019 team selection. The World Cup and IPL represent two different forms of cricket, and it is not right to judge a player's suitability for ODI cricket based on his T20 form.

The selection of Karthik over Pant in makes sense from the perspective of several other factors too.

Experience   

In a tournament like World Cup, the players have to deal with the expectations of the whole nation. Sometimes even the best of players crumble under such intense pressure.

Pant without a doubt is an exciting talent, but he is still very raw. That was evident from his performances against Australia, where he threw his wicket a couple of times after getting set. Clearly, he still has to learn how to deal with pressure. 

On the other hand, Karthik is now a veteran in the Indian team with an experience of 91 ODIs under his belt. For the past couple of years, he has been consistent with the bat, and in the World Cup, India need someone experienced enough to understand the game and handle the pressure in crunch situations.

Recent ODI form

Pant is new to the ODI cricket arena and has only scored 93 runs in five matches for Tam India. He made his ODI debut against West Indies where he scored 41 runs in 2 innings. Pant was later given another chance against Australia keeping the World Cup in mind, but he once again disappointed as he could score just 52 runs in two innings.

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On the other hand, Karthik has been making valuable contributions with the bat consistently in the past couple of years. In the 17 innings Karthik has played since 2017, he has scored at an excellent average of 47.22.

These stats clearly indicate that Karthik has been a better performer for India in recent times, and that he has done enough to earn his World Cup spot over Pant.

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