Sanjay Manjrekar has said that it will be possible for Dinesh Karthik to get in Playing XI only if he maintains his form throughout IPL 2022. Manjrekar further added that getting into the team will be extremely tough for him as he will be competing with the likes of Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant.
IPL 2022 has started and some of the senior Indian batters have been performing well. Dinesh Karthik is one of them and his form is one of the most discussed topics of the ongoing season. Karthik has unleashed himself in the role of a finisher scoring 210 runs from eight innings at a massive strike rate of 200. Notably, he has remained unbeaten on six occasions.
Karthik has been in sublime touch and has made a strong case for a comeback in the Indian team. However, his competition will be with Rishabh Pant as wicketkeeper-batter for a slot in the team. Sanjay Manjrekar feels that Karthik can make it in the team if he keeps his form intact throughout the season.
“Only if he maintains his current form. I am going to be a little more pragmatic. We are just about halfway through this IPL. Let’s wait till the end of the league and see if the form is still intact. When you say we want DK in the team, you want a guy out,” Manjrekar told ESPNCricinfo.
Manjrekar also mentioned that it will be tough for Karthik as he will have to compete with the likes of Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya.
“But when I’m looking at the incumbents, it’s tough to get into India’s Playing XI. Because he’s looking only at No. 5,6,7 spots. He’s not someone who can bat up the order… that’s not being considered I think. He will have to displace Rishabh Pant. We will have to start looking at Hardik Pandya vs Dinesh Karthik. It’s not going to be easy,” he stated.
Karthik last played for India in ODI World Cup in 2019 He has been in and out of the squad. This might be the last chance for him to make a comeback in the national squad. Hardik Pandya will also probably make it to the team with his all-round skills and the kind of performance he has put forward so far. Manjrekar feels that Karthik can only come in the squad as a pure batter or wicket-keeper.
“Hardik is necessary for Team India. India have got three seamers and they will likely go with Chahal, who is in the form of his life, and have Jadeja as a backup spinner. But they will need a backup seamer. We saw in the last World Cup that India desperately needed someone to take the burden of a guy who’s not having a great night. So, Hardik and Dinesh are not a like-for-like replacements. So, I only see Karthik replacing the keeper or a pure batter,” he explained.
India will host South Africa for five T20Is after the conclusion of the IPL 2022.