Dinesh Karthik has been in great form of late.© BCCI
Dinesh Karthik, with his performance in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 and the recently-concluded India-South Africa T20I series, has instilled that belief that he can be a great finisher in the T20I format. The 37-year-old scored a brilliant half-century in the fourth T20I against South Africa which was crucial in India levelling the series 2-2. Karthik’s performance has led many former players like Sunil Gavaskar to say that they would be surprised if Karthik does not get a chance in the India squad for the 2022 T20 World Cup.
Former Indian cricket team all-rounder Irfan Pathan has now likened Karthik’s range of shots with that of South Africa great AB de Villiers.
“You will not find many players with such range (of shots). The kind of range that this player has got…I am not comparing Dinesh Karthik with AB de Villiers in ability but I am talking about range. His range is like that,” Irfan Pathan said on Star Sports after the fifth T20I between India and South Africa on Sunday, that was abandoned due to rain in Bengaluru.
“He will hit straight, switch-hit, will play fast bowlers at the leg-side, will play sweep shot. He has got all those shots. When need be, he often steps out and he also often relies on the leg-side. He uses the line really well. He uses the feet really well. He plays spin really well, he plays the fast bowlers well too. If you ask him to hit from the first ball, he does that too. As a finisher, he is really important.”
Meanwhile, on the back of his recent exploits, the veteran Karthik jumped a massive 108 spots to 87th on the latest ICC T20 rankings for batters, even as young opener Ishan Kishan broke into the top 10. Kishan finished the series with two half centuries against South Africa and was the leading run scorer with 206 runs at an average of 41. That form catapulted the left-hander up one spot to sixth on the latest T20 rankings for batters. Karthik has been in excellent form since IPL 2022 and had a few blazing knocks in the T20 series against South Africa.
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam still holds the top spot on the T20 batting rankings and Kishan is the only Indian player rated inside the top 10.
Yuzvendra Chahal was the biggest mover on the T20 rankings for bowlers with the India spinner jumping three places to 23rd following his six wickets during the South Africa series.
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