Who is a better fit for the T20 WC - Dinesh Karthik or Rishabh Pant?
Two weeks ago, the BCCI announced the T20 World cup squad. While having a look at the squad, the players pick themselves when selecting a playing 11 but there is one spot up for grabs, the wicketkeeper.
So that begs the question, who is a better fit for the T20 World cup - Dinesh Karthik or Rishabh Pant?
After the 2021 Gabba heroics, Rishabh Pant was a permanent member of team India for all the formats. Scoring runs whenever he got the opportunity, the selectors found their long-term wicketkeeping batsman, who was going to win them matches. Scoring centuries at SENA countries with a high strike rate, pant had sealed his place.
While Pant was climbing up the ranks, Dinesh Karthik was nowhere to be seen in the Indian team setup. Karthik, last playing an international match for India in 2019, was struggling to find any rhythm or momentum.
After India’s exit from the 2019 World cup semi-final, Dinesh Karthik was struggling to score runs for IPL franchise KKR, stepped down from captaincy, and was released from KKR before the 2022 IPL mega auction. He even took up a commentator’s role at sky sports. Which made fans wonder, is DK done for good?
Then came the 2022 IPL mega auction. Rishabh Pant was named the captain for the Delhi Capitals while Dinesh Karthik was picked by RCB for 5.5Crs. Some fans questioned this pick from RCB, while a famed cricket analyst made a bold statement saying that,
“Dinesh Karthik is a full-time commentator and a part-time cricketer.”
Little did he we going to be proved wrong big time. RCB were playing their first match against Punjab Kings. After 17.1 overs, RCB were 168-2. Dinesh Karthik came into the crease with 17 balls remaining and he scored a quickfire 32(14), hitting 3 sixes and 3 fours with a strike rate of 228.57. DK announced his arrival in style.
DK was the savior for RCB, saving the team from the jaws of defeat on multiple occasions. He ended up scoring 284 runs in 14 innings at 57.4 with a staggering strike rate of 191.33 at the end of the 2022 IPL. After an amazing season in the IPL, the selectors were impressed with DK’s performance and he was selected for the upcoming South Africa T20I series.
While DK was tasting well-deserved success, Pant’s IPL campaign was not a great one. He failed to make Delhi qualify for the IPL playoffs and had an average season with the bat, scoring 340 runs in 14 innings. Pant had not scored a fifty all season. Nonetheless, the Indian selectors had backed him for the T20I series against South Africa.
After the 2022 IPL, Rishabh Pant had a below-average outing in T20I while Dinesh Karthik continued his IPL form to the T20I matches. The selectors chose Dinesh Karthik ahead of Rishabh Pant in India’s first match in the Asia cup against Pakistan.
Dinesh Karthik warmed the bench in the Super 4 matches against Sri Lanka and Pakistan, which India lost. Most of the fans believed that the team should have stuck with DK, as he had done nothing wrong to be dropped from the team.
During the 8-over match against the Australia team, DK was sent ahead of Pant and he finished the game off in style, hitting a six and a four to win the match. Since DK was sent ahead of Pant, it showed that the team management has made up their mind on who will fill the wicketkeeping role in the T20 World cup.
So, who is the better pick for the T20 World cup – Rishabh Pant or Dinesh Karthik? After the Australia series, it is evident Dinesh Karthik is the right man for the role.