IND vs SA: India coach Rahul Dravid reveals about picking Dinesh Karthik for ‘very specific skill’

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IND vs SA: India coach Rahul Dravid reveals about picking Dinesh Karthik for 'very specific skill'
IND vs SA: India coach Rahul Dravid reveals about picking Dinesh Karthik for 'very specific skill'

IND vs SA: India coach Rahul Dravid reveals about picking Dinesh Karthik for ‘very specific skill’

IND vs SA: India’s head coach, Rahul Dravid, stated that wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik was chosen for a “very unique skill,” which he was able to demonstrate during the fourth T20I against South Africa.

Dravid made the statement after the fifth and final T20I between India and South Africa was called off due to rain at M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. As a result, the series remains tied at 2-2 and will be split between the two teams. In the fourth T20I against South Africa in Rajkot, Karthik hammered 55 runs off 27 balls. His innings helped Team India to a score of 169, which they were able to defend.

“He picked for a very specific skill. And it’s nice when that’s kind of indicated in a sense that it came together brilliantly for us in the Rajkot game, where we needed that big performance in the last five overs to be able to make a par score. He and Hardik [Pandya] batted beautifully for us; both of them are our enforcers at the end, guys who can capitalise on those last five-six overs,” said Dravid after the fifth T20I abandoned.

“They are probably two of the best in the world in those last five-six overs. So, yeah, it really nice to see Karthik come off and do what he has picked to do. It certainly opens up a lot more options for us going forward. Innings like that certainly make you start. Like I was telling the guys it’s not about knocking the door – you have to start banging the door down, and an innings like that certainly means he is knocking very hard,” he added.

IND vs SA: India coach Rahul Dravid reveals about picking Dinesh Karthik for 'very specific skill'
IND vs SA: India coach Rahul Dravid reveals about picking Dinesh Karthik for ‘very specific skill’

Rishabh Pant, the skipper, also endorsed by the head coach, who stated that he will remain a “integral component” of Team India’s batting line-up.

“When you’re asking people to play a slightly more attacking brand of cricket in the middle overs and to take the game on a little bit more, sometimes it’s hard to judge based on two or three games. I thought he had a pretty good IPL. He might not have looked good on the averages, but his strike rate was really good. He looked to move that up a little bit – to where he was probably three years ago,” said Dravid.

“We’re going to hope that we can get those kinds of numbers from him at the international level as well. In that process, he might go wrong in a few games. But he remains an integral part of our batting line-up. We know what he does with the power he has. The fact that he is a left-hander is very important to us as well in the middle overs. And he has played some good knocks. Of course, personally, he would have liked to have scored a few more runs but it’s not that concerning. For us, he is certainly a very big part of our plans going ahead in the next few months,” he added.

India were 28/2 in 3.3 overs before the rain stopped play, with Shreyas Iyer (0*) and Rishabh Pant (1*).

South Africa chose to bat first, and India got off to a poor start. Ishan Kishan and Ruturaj Gaikwad dismissed after scoring 15 and 10 runs in the first four overs, respectively. Lungi Ngidi, a Proteas bowler, dealt a major blow to the Men in Blue by dismissing both openers during the powerplay.

Notably, India defeated the Proteas by 82 runs in the fourth match of the series to tie the series. When given the opportunity to bat first, India scored 169/6 in 20 overs. Thanks primarily to the efforts of Dinesh Karthik (55) and vice-captain Hardik Pandya (46). In response, SA bundled out for only 87 points. With the ball, Avesh Khan shone for Men in Blue, taking 4/18.

India will now play Ireland in a two-match Twenty20 International series in Dublin on June 26 and 28.