Legendary India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar did not agree with former India opener Gautam Gambhir’s comments about Dinesh Karthik’s place not being certain in India’s XI for the T20 World Cup slated to take place in Australia in October-November this year. Ahead of the fourth India vs South Africa T20I, Gambhir had said “If he doesn’t have a place in the playing XI, there’s no point giving him a place in the squad” about Dinesh Karthik’s World Cup chances. Gavaskar firmly disagreed with that and said Karthik could be “the guy India want.” The former India captain did not take Gambhir’s name while but that his remarks came in response to the former left-hander’s thoughts.
“I know people are talking about how can you include him in the team when he’s not going to play. How do you see he’s not going to be able to play? He could be the guy you want. You look at the form and not reputations, names and then you pick the guy,” Gavaskar said in the post-match show on Star Sports on Friday.
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Karthik was adjudged Player of the Match for his brilliant 27-ball 55-run knock in India’s must-win encounter against South Africa in Rajkot. The veteran wicketkeeper-batter hit two sixes and nine fours, scoring at a strike rate in excess of 200. India were in deep trouble when Karthik walked out to bat at No.6. Captain Rishabh Pant had just been dismissed after a disappointing 17 off 23 balls and India were reeling at 81 for 4 in 12.5 overs. In the next 7 overs Karthik and Hardik Pandya (46 off 31 balls) displayed some breath-taking strokeplay to take India to 169 for 5 in their allotted 20 overs.
Gavaskar said one should not look at Karthik’s age and instead should at how he is scoring those important runs at an impressive strike rate in a difficult situation.
“He (Dinesh Karthik) doesn’t get too many opportunities, bats at No. 6 and 7. You can’t expect him to get 50 regularly. He’ll get you a good 40 in 20 deliveries and that’s what he has been doing consistently. He the exactly the same thing again and that is the reason why he’s very much in contention for a place in the World Cup squad. The way he got runs today, India were down and out. It showed great character, showed great determination, and showed great sense of purpose. He’s desperate to play for India again. I think that might be his swansong. I know there’s a 50-overs World Cup next year and he might want to be available for that as wel. But whatever it is, don’t look at the man’s age, look at the performances,” he said.
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