‘Even if Dinesh Karthik does well in Asia Cup, he will play his last in T20 WC’ – Hindustan Times

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Dinesh Karthik is at an interesting stage in his career. Even 10 months ago, no one was talking about him. In fact, he did all the talking as an announcer. On the cricket field, only a few things went right for him. He had a torrid time with the bat for Kolkata Knight Riders, a franchise for which he had been one of the mainstays in recent years. The team did make it to the final, but Karthik’s average run with the bat meant that KKR decided to release him. With age not on his side and the seemingly lucrative career prospect of continuing as a full-time broadcaster looming large, very few would have thought that some nine months later Karthik would be one of the first in the Asia Cup of India with a never-before-seen role in the history of Indian cricket.

Karthik comes in to bat in the last five or six overs for India in T20Is, the role he had executed to perfection for RCB in this year’s IPL. In the last 13 innings he has ever played since making a comeback in the home series against South Africa after IPL 2022, the veteran wicketkeeper-batsman has been out for the 15th only once. The fact that Axar Patel batted for him a couple of times is a testimony that he has a clear and well-defined role. To be fair to him, he has also had a fair amount of success with three impactful innings. The time Karthik comes to bat, the best he can do is play a 25 to 30-run cameo to give the innings a lift. Despite managing to do so, he has had it with criticism from well-known former cricketers like Krishnamachari Srikkanth and Ajay Jadeja, who believe that the man from Tamil Nadu ‘blocks’ batting place for only five overs at best.

Former Pakistan leg-spinner Danish Kaneria was the latest to share his thoughts on Dinesh Karthik’s unique role in the Indian T20I team. Kaneria had little doubt that Karthik is well and truly in India’s schedule for the T20 World Cup in Australia in October-November, but he also opined that the world event will be Dinesh Karthik’s last for India.

“I don’t think Dinesh Karthik will continue to play after the T20 World Cup. This Asia Cup is crucial for him to ensure that he is in the T20 World Cup squad. His form, fitness and how he finishes games will be something be that India also have other hitters like Hardik Pandya, so even if DK does well in Asia Cup, this will be his last T20 World Cup,” Kaneria said on his YouTube channel.

However, the 37-year-old Indian would like to prove the doubters wrong, as he has done many times in his career which now spans almost two decades.

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