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World Cup 2019: Why should India pick Dinesh Karthik over Rishabh Pant

984   //    18 Feb 2019, 14:05 IST

New Zealand Black Caps v India - International T20 Game 2
New Zealand Black Caps v India - International T20 Game 2

Only a few months from now, team India will embark on their journey for the most prestigious cricketing tournament, the ICC World Cup. Over the last four years, the team management has worked immensely to create a pool of talented players not just to represent India at the marquee event but also to bring back the invaluable trophy home for the third occasion.

By the look of things, it appears that the selectors have relatively zeroed down on India’s squad. With the majority of the players select themselves based on their consistent performances over the years; the team management now has their task cut out to select players for the remaining very few yet important slots for the mega event.

While everyone was expecting Dinesh Karthik to take over the wicket-keeping responsibility post-MS Dhoni era especially in ODIs; the unexpected emergence of a young wicket-keeper in Rishabh Pant has completely changed the dimensions. Since his arrival to the international scene in August 2018, he has impressed everyone with his superlative performances and in fact, has now been touted to Dhoni’s successor in every format.

Based on the very recent press conference by India’s chief selector MSK Prasad, it is very evident that the experienced Karthik and young Pant are fighting it out against each other for a place in India’s 15 member squad. 

In the upcoming series against Australia, Karthik has been selected only for T20Is whereas Pant has been included for the entire series to assess his performance one very last time prior to eventually announcing India’s 15 member squad for the ICC World Cup 2019.

Without a doubt, there are a few key aspects that very strongly encourage Pant's inclusion in the team. The very fact that India’s entire batting unit is jam-packed with right-handers apart from the opener Shikhar Dhawan, including the left-handed wicket-keeper will give the team the much-needed variation. Also, going by his aggressive batting style, he can be an ideal floater for the team depending the on the game's requirement.

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Yet, Karthik cannot be overlooked and should be undoubtedly chosen for the mega event. The experienced warhorse has been with the team for ages and has gained invaluable experience – very much needed for a high-intensity tournament.

Moreover, his recent performances reflect an excellent level of maturity that has enabled team India to successfully win the games. Most importantly, considering the fact that Dhoni isn’t the same hard hitter anymore, he has taken over the important responsibility of a finisher for the team.

Though Pant is extremely talented, he is still very young and inexperienced (13 T20Is and 3 ODIs) for a tournament of such stature. Beyond any doubt, he is the future of the Indian Cricket but for now, it is Karthik’s turn to showcase to the world his cricketing excellence.