Chief selector MSK Prasad says Dinesh Karthik scored over Rishabh Pant in World Cup selection due to his ability to deliver under pressure
Dinesh Karthik’s selection in India’s World Cup team was sealed primarily on two counts — the experience of 91 ODIs and better wicketkeeping skills than Rishabh Pant. Chairman of selectors MSK Prasad made it clear that the second wicketkeeper will only be in the playing XI if MS Dhoni gets injured. However, what tilted the balance in Karthik’s favour is his ability to finish games. “One of the wicketkeepers will play only if MSD is injured. Under pressure, we have seen Dinesh finish matches. That scored for him,” Prasad said yesterday.
Karthik’s standout knock in recent times came in the T20 Nidahas Trophy in Sri Lanka, where his last-ball six in the final helped India clinch the title in Colombo last year. As far as his ODI knocks are concerned, Karthik has been able to produce a few cameos. Karthik, who was also part of the 2007 World Cup as back-up to Dhoni, was not included in the last two home ODI series that India played against West Indies and Australia. In the two overseas ODI series against Australia and New Zealand, he scored 37 and 38 runs respectively.
Chief selector MSK Prasad at the BCCI headquarters yesterday. Pic/Suresh Karkera
Prasad stressed that IPL form was not taken into consideration to justify the selection of Karthik, who has scored just 111 runs in seven innings for KKR. “We had said that we are very close to picking the side when we picked [the team] against Australia. So, I don’t see IPL form. If you go by IPL form, there are others who have done well. Mayank Agarwal, Shreyas [Iyer], [Shubhman] Gill, Prithvi [Shaw] have done well, but we did not consider IPL,” said Prasad.
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On the decision of taking just three pacers [Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohd Shami] to the World Cup and three spinners [Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja], where conditions are seam-friendly, Prasad said: “Apart from these three specialist pacers, we also have Hardik [Pandya] who can bowl, so does Vijay Shankar. Apart from those two spinners, we have Kedar [Jadhav], so we have the luxury of seven bowlers. We have covered all bases. This is one of the most balanced sides we have produced.”
Teams have time till May 23 to change their World Cup squad without ICC’s permission. However, Prasad said there is no question of changing the squad unless there is an injury.