Dinesh Karthik’s extraordinary return to cricket and then to the Indian team has been the story of world cricket in the last couple of months. From out of reckoning after the 2019 World Cup to shifting to commentary and then making a massive return to the sport as a finisher in IPL 2022 and later to the Indian T20I side has been simply incredible. And all this, at the age of 37. If not entirely, but Karthik has proven his worth in the new Indian set-up that is gearing up for the 2022 T20 World Cup, but former India cricketer Vivek Razdan finds it bizarre to pick a batter solely for his exploits as a finisher.
In 13 innings for Royal Challengers Bangalore, Karthik scored 251 runs in the death overs (overs 16-20) in 121 deliveries at an astounding strike rate of 207.4 and with a boundary almost every three balls. He has emulated the same for India as well. In 104 deliveries he faced in the slog overs, Karthik scored 164 runs at an impressive strike rate of 157.7, with a boundary every 4 balls.
Despite his exploits in the death overs, Razdan, in conversation with Fan Code during the fifth T20I match between India and West Indies on Sunday, questioned the logic behind picking a batter solely for the finisher role. He argued that as many as five batters including former India captain Virat Kohli can finish off innings for India.
“Picking Dinesh Karthik only as a finisher, and blocking that space, seems very bizarre to me. You tell me who among Suryakumar Yadav, Virat Kohli, Deepak Hooda, Hardik Pandya can’t do that job of a finisher?” questioned Razdan.
“Finisher’s role is one such that it is hard to be consistent. Every time you get in, you should be able to make an impact that will help the team. It works both ways, the bowlers are clever and they try to force you to hit into the wind as much as possible. That makes it all the more tougher,” the cricketer-turned commentator further said.
Karthik has had an underwhelming show in the West Indies where he scored just 66 runs in four innings at an average of 22.0 and strike rate of 132. He did play a brilliant knock in the opening match of the five-game series, scoring a fiery 41 off 19 deliveries and had even won the Player of the Match award.