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The Numbers Game – Should Dinesh Karthik Be In India’s T20 World Cup Playing XI?

Dinesh Karthik rasies his bat after his half century
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Dinesh Karthik marked his homecoming to India’s white-ball outfit with an impressive performance against South Africa – with the wicketkeeper scoring his maiden T20I half-century in just 26 balls in Rajkot to level the series at 2-2. Following his return to the India squad and his incredible IPL 2022 display, the wicketkeeper has made a solid case for himself to be in India’s 2022 T20 World Cup squad.

Karthik had the highest strike rate amongst all batters in IPL 2022 who faced a minimum of 100 deliveries, and if the Men in Blue are looking for someone to smash quick runs at the death, there is no one better than the 37-year-old. Only the great MS Dhoni has scored more runs than Karthik in overs 17-20 since IPL 2018, and the RCB keeper has an incredible IPL strike rate of 194 in the last four overs in the previous five seasons.

IPL death overs statistics of DK
                                             IPL Death Overs (17-20) batting record since 2018


As the graph above shows, Karthik is amongst the best death overs hitters in the IPL in the last five years, and his strengths against pace make him ideally suited to be India’s finisher on the bouncy pitches in Australia during the 2022 T20 World Cup.

The major problem with selecting Karthik at number six is that he is a right-hander, just like most of India’s batting options – Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Deepak Hooda, and Ruturaj Gaikwad. To solve this issue, Rahul Dravid and the team India management have indicated that they may go with Rishabh Pant as the wicketkeeper instead since he is a left-hander and adds more balance to the team in the middle order.


[Featured Image Credit: Dinesh Karthik]