MSK Prasad on Dhoni: The Chief Selector disclosed that MS Dhoni remains India’s No. 1 wicket-keeper ahead of the World Cup.
The Indian squad which was announced for the first two ODIs against West Indies yesterday had no place for wicket-keeper batsman Dinesh Karthik. Having scored 146 runs in six matches at an average of 48.66 and a strike rate of 71.21 during the Asia Cup, Karthik might have felt hard done by with the selectors’ decision.
In the last 12 ODI innings which he has played for India, Karthik remained unbeaten on six occasions, scoring 50*, 64*, 4*, 26*, 31* and 1*. In the last two Asia Cup matches, he scored a sensible 44 and 37 on wickets where the others struggled in the middle overs.
Replacing Karthik, the selectors named uncapped Rishabh Pant in the side. Having impressed in Test matches in England and at home, Pant deserved this opportunity but whether it had to come at the expense of Karthik remained the big question.
During the squad announcement, Prasad was asked about the selectors’ future plan regarding the 33-year old Karthik. “It’s a no-brainer that who is our No. 1 wicket-keeper [in the ODIs],” the chief selector said about the out-of-form Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
“In the search of the second wicket-keeper, we have given opportunities to DK [Dinesh Karthik]. Right now, we are giving opportunities to Rishabh Pant and we can take a call at an appropriate time regarding who is the No. 1 among the two,” he added about the selection of the second wicket-keeper.
On being asked about if Pant was selected as a specialist batsman or as a wicket-keeper batsman, Prasad said that the 21-year old southpaw has been selected as a specialist batsman. However, he didn’t quashed the possibility of giving the wicket-keeping duties to him.
“Yes. Definitely, if the need arises, he will be our back-up wicket-keeper,” Prasad added.
Former India captain and current cricket expert Sunil Gavaskar was recently of the opinion that Dhoni should play domestic cricket more often. Recently, there were reports of him featuring in the tournament. Confirming those rumors, Prasad was quoted, “As of now, Dhoni is going to play [the Vijay Hazare Trophy] now.”
That being said, Prasad wasn’t aware of the reason why Ambati Rayudu wasn’t taking part in India’s premier 50-over competition. On being asked about the same, he said that he needs to confirm it himself.
Read some of the recent Twitter reactions regarding the ongoing second Test between India and West Indies:
— Cric Now Sports (@CricNowSports5) October 12, 2018
India vs West Indies, 2nd Test: We have plans in place for Prithvi Shaw, claims all-rounder Roston Chase pic.twitter.com/jhkYW7EYJc
— Sumesara Ankit (@SumesaraAnkit) October 11, 2018
‘#MayankAgarwal deserves a chance’ – Fans unhappy with batsman’s exclusion for India vs West Indies 2nd Test
— Times Now Sports (@timesnowsports) October 11, 2018
— Free Press Journal (@fpjindia) October 12, 2018