Dinesh Karthik was picked as India’s reserve wicketkeeper-batsman at 2019 World Cup (AP Photo)


Out of favour wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik, who has played some blinders as a finisher for Tamil Nadu in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy, wants to don a similar role for India.

Dinesh Karthik is eyeing a spot in the national T20 side for the 2020 T20 World Cup as a finisher. Karthik’s finishing instincts first came into limelight when played a stunning knock off 29 runs including a last-ball six against Bangladesh in the Nidahas Trophy tri-series final in Colombo in 2018.

“It’s [The T20 World Cup] a year away but if I feel I can keep performing and have a good [domestic] tournament, I’m sure I will go out there and play,” Karthik, 34, told ESPNcricinfo ahead of the Hazare knockouts. “Because, I feel it’s a key part that the Indian team is looking out as well – closing out matches and have someone who can understand those situations and do the best at that point of time.

“And I feel I’ve done that in the short time I’d played T20s [for India]. But, post the World Cup, I didn’t play; they clubbed it [poor run at the World Cup] with the T20 part of it and removed me from the team as well. But I feel that I’m well-suited to play that role Dhoni has played for so many years now. I feel I can do something like that and I’ve been doing that for KKR and Tamil Nadu. So, if a slot opens up there, that’s something I’ll be really looking forward to. The T20 World Cup is definitely something I’d want to play.”

But Karthik has been out of favour after being dropped from the national team for the umpteenth time in his career after India’s heartbreaking semifinal defeat against New Zealand in the World Cup 2019.

Although he was picked ahead of wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant in the original squad for the World Cup, it was Pant (Shikhar Dhawan’s replacement) who got to play a match ahead of Karthik.

In the two innings that he played in the World Cup, Karthik returned with scores of 8 and 6. In the semi-final against New Zealand, Karthik had a golden opportunity to play the innings of his life but he was found wanting against the moving ball.

Rishabh Pant’s dip in form in the T20Is have become a matter of national debate as the Delhi Capitals wicket-keeper has managed to score only 74 runs in the last five T20I outings. It might be the perfect time for Dinesh Karthik to pose his candidature for the wicket-keeper cum finisher role like MS Dhoni.

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