Is The Dinesh Karthik Riddle Over Now?

Continuing with the Asia Cup-2022 legacy and the experiment-legacy since time IPL the swashbuckling Team India management, the dead- ‘wall’ coach and the devastatingly discerning selectors had once again preferred batsman-keeper Dinesh Karthik ahead of Rishabh Pant in the playing eleven pitted against the T20 World Champions Australia in the first of the three T20Is in Mohali on 20th September, 2022. Keeping up with the ‘traditions’ Karthik came in to bat after the supposed all-rounder Axar Patel and was still lucky enough to have four overs to play out. Unfortunately, he could not capitalize on this golden opportunity and perished cheaply. Not only that, he failed miserably to read a suspected LBW ball to convince his captain Rohit Sharma to go for a DRS. As the replays showed the ball hitting the leg stump clearly Rohit vented out all his pent-up anger on the poor but experienced Karthik. Rohit’s magnanimously displayed public anger could perhaps also be the result of the ceaseless accumulation of the same thanks to the ‘stakeholders’ described at the outset.


During Asia Cup-2022 that the hosts Sri Lanka won magnificently roaring back into tremendous form the stakeholders included both Karthik and Pant in the second league match and then decided to forget about the former in the crunch matches. This time, however, things could be much firmer and more decisive. As we already said Dinesh Karthik had scored an all-round failure-laden outing in the match, he seemingly gave sound enough reasons to the constantly-experimenting-scheming stakeholders to rule Karthik out on a permanent basis thus justifying the esteemed management’s outstandingly long-lasting ‘kindness and understanding’ to ‘experience’ while basking in the spirit of experimentation; this ‘experience’ also has an unmistakable Dhoni ring that surfaced during the times of the devastating (for India) ICC Men’ World Cup-2019. We need not worry at all as far as the riddle called Dinesh Karthik is concerned because it is set to be crystal clear in the second T20I against Australia tomorrow.


The dead- ‘wall’ coach has vindicated his age-old preferences very ominously now: Yuzvendra Chahal is to be played in every possible eleven irrespective of how he bowls and to be denied rest at any cost; Hardik Pandya (he displayed tremendous batting in the first T20I against Australia) is now a confirmed batting all-rounder along with Ravindra Jadeja whose injury could well be the ultimate cause of Rohit Franchise’s possible downfall (God forbid!) in the coming T20 World Cup; Jasprit Bumrah is to be kept on indefinite rest till he is ‘exclusively fit’ for the World Cup; the batting order has to be an ever-alterable variable, never a constant; encouraging the captain to insist on bowling the same bowlers (mostly five in number) irrespective of how they bowl till their quotas are fulfilled and to immediately take a bowler who captures a wicket in his first over off the attack; and contradictory contempt for youngsters cum veterans like Ravi Bishnoi or Deepak Chahar or Ravichandran Ashwin while welcoming the other, mostly youngsters, players as the future of Indian-Cricket (read IPL).


The unpredictability of the dead-‘wall’ coach is also as glorious as of the game itself. One of the consistently striking bowlers in all formats, Mohammad Shami, was benevolently considered meritorious enough to be included as one of the reserves for the T20 World Cup; but unfortunately, he caught the COVID virus perhaps due to the wantonly liberal ‘rest’ he was conferred with by the omniscient stakeholders. But horror of horrors of unpredictability! Umesh Yadav who was nowhere to be seen in the playing arena for quite some time was not only included in the revised reserves but was also played in the first T20I against Australia.     


That the Rohit Franchise lost against Australia despite putting up a formidable total in excess of 200 runs had been a forgone conclusion. Call it the result of the ‘price’ to be paid for the ‘essential’ process of experimentation so mind-blowingly required to finalize the playing eleven in the World Cup or the reign of the glorious uncertainly or the dead-walled team management or whatever. The call is yours as you must bear with the future of Indian Cricket (read IPL). As a vital reminder you have to take notice of the only experiment that Australia made while chasing—asking their rank-new bowling all-rounder Cameron Green to open with captain Finch and the former breathtakingly took the match away from the dazed Indians. Having said all these rather dubious things the final outcome of the T20 World Cup starting in Australia from 16th October 2022 could still change everything for Indian Cricket (don’t read IPL) for the better, hopefully.


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