India’s squad for the upcoming World Cup was announced on April 15. The selection grabbed criticism as Dinesh Karthik was picked in the 15-man squad instead of Rishabh Pant. Later, Chief selector MSK Prasad made it clear that the decision was taken keeping Karthik’s experience in mind.
On Wednesday (May 15), Indian skipper Virat Kohli too emphasised on the same point, stating that Karthik’s experience and composure in difficult situations had helped him to grab a place in the squad.
MS Dhoni will be designated first-choice wicketkeeper in the World Cup with the selectors making it clear that the 33-year-old Karthik will only play if Dhoni gets injured.
“In pressure situations, he’s shown composure,” Virat Kohli told the Times of India about Karthik. “It was something that everybody on board was convinced about.
“He has the experience. If, god forbid, something happens to MS (Dhoni), Karthik can be immensely valuable behind the wickets. As a finisher, he’s done well. So, it was the overall exposure to a tournament of this magnitude that was taken into primary consideration.”
This is only the second time that Karthik has made it to the World Cup squad, the first time being in 2007, under Rahul Dravid’s leadership.
Karthik made his ODI debut in 2004 and has played 91 matches for India in the format, compared to left-handed batsman Pant who has played just five after making his 50-over debut last October.
India’s fight for the third World Cup trophy begins on June 5 against South Africa in Southampton.