Australia’s legendary all-rounder Shane Watson has weighed in on the growing debate about Dinesh Karthik’s inclusion in India’s T20 World Cup squad. Karthik, he believes, is too good to be benched and should be in India’s top six. According to Watson, the 37-year-old’s dominant performances at the death for RCB in the recently concluded IPL season are enough for the selectors and team management to keep him in the 11.
Speaking in the ICC review series, Watson said, “I expected DK to do well after the auction, but the way he came out all guns blazing was exceptional, and with the amount of experience he brings into the side, he should surely be a part of the 11”. He also added, “It doesn’t matter whether he is 16 or 55, if he is able to put up performances of that level consistently, you have to get him in anyhow.”
Dinesh Karthik had a stellar IPL season for RCB, scoring 330 runs at an average of 55 and striking at 183.33. That is why he is in the running to be a part of India’s T20I setup, having already made his comeback to the side during South Africa’s tour to India immediately following the IPL.
Watson was impressed with the way Karthik was able to consistently showcase his range of hitting against pace bowling. “Coming in at the death for RCB and to be able to do what he did, hitting the ball to the fence so consistently, it was incredible. So while someone is in that kind of form, you have to pick him because he will certainly add a lot of value to the Indian lower middle order using his experience and ability to perform under pressure,” he said.
Another Australian legend, Ricky Ponting, concurs with Watson, claiming that Karthik should be a no-brainer for the lower middle order spot. However, the DC coach also stated that Rishabh Pant should not be dropped to make room for Karthik. Pant’s potential in T20s, according to him, is second to none, and both Pant and Karthik can combine to become a destructive force in the slog overs for the Indian batting unit.