Veteran India batter Dinesh Karthik made his international comeback after a long wait of 1066 days on Thursday. Karthik’s jaw-dropping performances for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the IPL 2022 got him a spot back in the Indian team in the first T20I of the ongoing five-match series against South Africa.
Notably, Karthik played his last game wearing the Indian jersey back in 2019 when India lost against New Zealand in the World Cup semi-final.
The Tamil Nadu cricketer, however, only got two deliveries to face in his comeback game against South Africa and he stayed unbeaten on a solitary run as India posted 211/4 in 20 overs.
There is no doubt that Karthik’s new role as a finisher will help Team India, especially in the T20 World Cup 2022, scheduled to take place in Australia later this year. But whether Karthik gets a place in the T20 WC squad remains a bigger question. Speaking about the same, former Aussie skipper, Ricky Ponting reckoned that the Indian wicketkeeper-batter has all the potential to play the role of a finisher for India in the 20-overs showpiece event.
Ponting heaped praises on Karthik’s excellent batting display for RCB in the IPL 2022, where the right-handed batter scored 330 runs at a strike rate of more than 183. Ponting said that he would like to see Karthik batting at no.5 or no.6 for India in the upcoming T20 World Cup and would be surprised if the Chennai-born misses out.
“I would have him, and I’d have him in at that five or six role. The way he finished games for RCB this year, he took his game to another level. When you look at the IPL, you want your better players to maybe be able to win two or three, maybe four games through the season,” Ponting told Isa Guha in The ICC Review show.
“If you can get that out of them, it’s probably going to be a really good return. But Dinesh probably had a bigger impact on many of the games than most of the other RCB players did this year,” Ponting added.