India vs England 3rd Test Nottingham: Tamil Nadu-born Dinesh Karthik made his Test debut ahead of MS Dhoni, but due to the talismanic former skipper’s greatness, Karthik never cemented his place in the Test squad.
He has been in and out of the team and has done the job of a makeshift opener. Karthik was picked for the ongoing English series as regular keeper Wriddhiman Saha was unable to recover from an injury he sustained in the IPL.
And that brings us to the question, with a forward-thinking captain like Virat Kohli, why is India still persisting with 33-year-old Karthik, when a young Rishabh Pant is available?
One understands, it would be harsh to dump Karthik, but if it has to be done for the welfare of the team, there’s no harm in doing it. Pant has impressed one and all with his attacking style of play, but Test cricket again is a different ballgame, considering that is the time ripe to give Pant a go?
On the contrary, one may say, spending more time in the real thing is way better than spending hours in the nets. With India trailing 0-2, Pant would surely be on the minds of the team. Kohli’s team will take on the hosts to stay afloat in the ongoing five-Test series in the third Test beginning August 18.
Even former Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar felt the same about Pant.
“It is an opportunity for sure and for the third Test he might get into the team. In fact, he might get in the team as a batsman down the order rather than as a wicket-keeper,” Gavaskar, an expert with official broadcasters Sony Pictures Network, had told a select group of reporters said.
“He certainly is in the frame, the fact that he was chosen ahead of everybody else the moment (Wriddhiman) Saha was declared unfit, just tells you the thinking of the selection committee and team management,” he added.
Meanwhile, in the Edgbaston Test that India lost by 31 runs, Karthik scored just 0 and 20 and also dropped a catch. In the Lord’s Test, he scored 0, 1. With Karthik in woeful form, Pant is highly likely to play at Trent Bridge.