The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 will have an impact on the players’ prospects of being selected in the Indian squad for the T20 World Cup later this year, which will be hosted in Australia. Those in the thick of it will want to establish their worth and solidify their position, while those on the fringes will try to strengthen their case.
Dinesh Karthik, the veteran India wicketkeeper-batter, was not even considered for the previous T20 World Cup as a fringe player, but the 36-year-old is certainly building a case for the major competition this year with his finishing skills.
Karthik has scored 90 runs in just 44 balls in three matches this season, with a strike rate of 204.5. As Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB)’s new acquisition has been playing admirably down the order for the squad, his scores were 32* off 14, 14* off 7, and 44* off 23 balls. His last knock was particularly crucial in RCB’s four-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals, which came despite a top-order collapse.
Since the knock, speculation has swirled around Karthik’s possible comeback for India, with even the experienced player stating his intentions.
Former India head coach Ravi Shastri opined on ESPNCricinfo that with the team in need of a finisher like MS Dhoni, the seasoned Karthik appears to be a viable option, but India will have to be wary of the number of wicket-keepers in the squad.
“With the amount of cricket being played and with the injuries that can take place, if you have a good IPL season which I feel he is right in thinking in that fashion. He has started off really hot and if he has a cracker jack of a season, surely he will be in that mix. He has got the experience, he has got all the shots…there is no Dhoni in the side now so you are looking at a finisher as well. But you also have to see how many keepers you want – there’s Ishan Kishan, Rishabh Pant and now there’s Karthik. And if there’s an injury there, then he comes in automatically,” he said.
While Pant’s selection seems a foregone conclusion, Kishan, who scored two consecutive fifties for the Mumbai Indians, is still making his case. Sanju Samson was also recently recalled by India for the home T20I series against Sri Lanka in February.