“I can’t see that those two not making it to the World Cup”: Graeme Smith believes Hardik Pandya and Dinesh Karthik are undroppable from India’s T20 World Cup squad

Rishikesh Sharma
|Published June 21, 2022

Former South African batter Graeme Smith has called Hardik Pandya and Dinesh Karthik mandatory picks in the T20 World Cup squad.

The ICC T20 World Cup 2022 is not so far away and all the countries are figuring to find their best squads for the mega event. India had a terrible T20 World Cup last year, and they would want to improve it this time around.

The team selection was criticized a lot that time as they were a lot of late changes. Rahul Dravid has already said that he wants to finalize the pool of the Indian T20 World Cup squad as early as possible.

Graeme Smith votes for Hardik Pandya and Dinesh Karthik

Indian Premier League always plays a big part in deciding the fate of the players in the Indian national team. IPL 2022 was a brilliant one for both Hardik Pandya and Dinesh Karthik. Hardik proved his class as a genuine all-rounder and captain, whereas the finishing ability of Dinesh Karthik impressed everyone as well.

Hardik Pandya scored 487 IPL 2022 runs at 44.27, courtesy of two half-centuries, whereas he also scalped eight wickets with the ball. Dinesh Karthik scored 330 runs at an excellent strike-rate of 183.33 for the Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Both of them got their Indian recall in the South Africa T20I series, and they are a part of the Ireland T20Is squad as well. Hardik Pandya will even lead the Indian side in the series.

Loading embed tweet https://twitter.com/DineshKarthik/status/1538581710496968704?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Former South African player Graeme Smith has said that both Hardik Pandya and Dinesh Karthik are undroppable from the T20 World Cup squad. Smith called Hardik Pandya as the “X-Factor” all-rounder, and he believes that Dinesh Karthik’s experience will also be vital.

“Still a lot of cricket to be played so it is difficult to predict what is going to happen in the next couple of months but you are going to think Hardik and DK are integral to that squad. DK is experienced with that finishing role that he has played Hardik has grown leaps and bounds and is in control of his game,” Graeme Smith said on the Youtube channel of cricket.com.

“Mentally he looks like he has settled. And he is also that all-rounder X-Factor that India requires to just balance the team with him and Jadeja in the squad which opens up a lot of options. So I can’t see that those two not making it to the World Cup squad.”

Dinesh Karthik and Hardik Pandya took the opportunities with both hands in the South African series. Karthik won the Man of the Match trophy for his maiden half-century in the 4th T20I, whereas Hardik Pandya also played some vital knocks.

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Rishikesh Sharma

Rishikesh Sharma

An engineering graduate and an ardent Sports fan. Rishikesh Sharma is writing about cricket for 3 years now as corporate life didn't suit him. Sourav Ganguly made him fall in love with the game, and players like Brendon McCullum and Gautam Gambhir enhanced it. Apart from cricket, Rishikesh is a huge fan of Liverpool FC. When not watching sports, you will find him riding around Jaipur.

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