Friday, March 31, 2023

Karthik’s Rajkot knock confirms his special selection – Dravid

India tour of South Africa, 2022

Dinesh Karthik Smashed 55 Off 27 Balls To Take India To Their Winning Total In The Fourth T20I.

Dinesh Karthik smashed 55 off 27 balls to take India to their winning total in the fourth T20I. © BCCI

India head coach Rahul Dravid has provided a sense of vengeance to the selectors for bringing in keeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik in the national squad for South Africa’s five T20Is. Karthik’s return has been due to his jaw-dropping batting numbers for Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2022, where he scored 330 runs at a strike rate of 183.3, 251 of which came on an SR in the death overs (16 to 20). 207.4. India’s quest was met with emphatic success in the fourth T20I to see if he could replicate those figures for the national side.

“He was picked for a very specific skill,” Dravid said on Sunday. “He was picked to perform exceptionally well in the last two-three years and it’s good when it turned out to be true in the sense that it came almost simultaneously for us in that game in Rajkot where we got that big performance. Was needed to be able to score the last five overs at par.”

In the precarious conditions at Rajkot, where India’s top-order faltered, Karthik went on to bat at 81 for 4 in the 13th over, and the series was on the line. He weathered the conditions for a few overs before continuing his series of strokes against Anrich Nortje from the 15th. It was the first of a three-over carnage that Karthik handled as India went from 96 for 4 in 15 overs to 140 for 4 in 18. He scored 37 off 44 in this period, and needed just 14 balls to do so – a phase that changed the game for India. A six from Dwayne Pretorius in the final over took them to a half-century, but more importantly, India were on a defendable total.

“He and Hardik batted beautifully. Both of them are our enforcers at the end, capable of redeeming the last five-six overs as well as anyone in the world. It’s great to see Karthik come and do what he wants. He has chosen to.. So that’s good, it certainly opens up a lot more options for us to move forward,” Dravid said.

India have a lot of T20 cricket to play between now and the World Cup in Australia in mid-October, but as they start to strengthen their team, Karthik has taken his first real opportunity on the road. Would have tried best. Showpiece event.

Dravid said, “I was telling people that you have to start banging the door, it is not about knocking on the door. An innings like this definitely means he is knocking very hard.”


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