Reports: Rishabh Pant likely to replace Dinesh Karthik for the ODI series against Windies
The sliding form of the former Indian captain MS Dhoni has started raising questions over his automatic selection in India’s limited-over format. Speculation was rife that the 37-year-old could see his place going to newcomer Rishabh Pant, who has already played two dominating innings in Tests. But the reports indicate that Dhoni could survive the latest scare and the axe may fall on Dinesh Karthik, the other keeper.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) selection committee is set to announce the squad for the five-ODI series against the visiting Windies starting October 21 on Thursday and Pant may see his inclusion as a pure batsman with Dhoni continuing with the glovework. Pant, who recently turned 21, has played four Tests and as many T20Is for India so far and a game in the ODI series will see his debut in the 50-over format.
Rishabh Pant made an impressive Test debut in England in Nottingham in August and even scored a century in this third Test at the Oval though could not see his side win. He did not feature in Asia Cup which was held after the England series with Dhoni returning to keep the wickets and was back for the Windies series. He scored an 84-ball 92 in the first Test in Rajkot. Dhoni, on the other hand, had an ordinary outing in Asia Cup with the bat, scoring 77 runs in all though his glovework remained as electric as ever.
Karthik has failed to convert his scores into big runs
Karthik, on the other hand, went to England as the first wicket-keeper but his poor form saw him being replaced. He has been playing the limited-overs version as a pure batsman but hasn’t really fired till now. He scored 146 runs from six games in Asia Cup with a few 30s and a 40-odd score. His failure to convert the medium scores into big ones could see his spot going to a more prolific hitter in Pant as part of India’s preparation for the World Cup due next year.
“The problem is that he isn’t converting the 30s and 40s into big scores,” a source hinting at Karthik’s probable replacement by Pant for the Windies ODIs was quoted as saying by Times of India.
It was also believed that captain Virat Kohli could also be rested for the first three matches of the ODI series. Manish Pandey, who has had an impressive domestic season and was in the Indian squad for Asia Cup, could get another chance in that case.