Dinesh Karthik fires T20 World Cup challenge to Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson after Rohit Sharma's green signal | Crickit
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Dinesh Karthik fires T20 World Cup challenge to Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson after Rohit Sharma's green signal

Apr 20, 2024 07:03 PM IST

Dinesh Karthik's comment came days after India captain Rohit Sharma subtly mentioned that the senior cricketer is in the fray to make the World Cup squad.

With just about a week left before BCCI chief selector Ajit Agarkar announces the 15-member squad for the T20 World Cup, veteran wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik has thrown his name in the race to make the national team, yet again, for the ICC event. Karthik's comment came days after India captain Rohit Sharma subtly mentioned that the senior cricketer is in the fray to make the World Cup squad.

Dinesh Karthik is ready to play for India in T20 World Cup 2024
Dinesh Karthik is ready to play for India in T20 World Cup 2024

Karthik has made another phenomenal return to IPL this season, taking his batting to a whole new level in 2024 with astonishing power-hitting to strike at a rate of well over 200. In seven matches for RCB, who have had a forgettable season so far, Karthik, who bats in the lower middle-order, has emerged as the third-highest run-getter for the franchise after Virat Kohli (361) and skipper Faf du Plessis (232), with his of 226 runs.

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Speaking to the media in Kolkata on Saturday, on the eve of RCB's match against Kolkata Knight Riders, Karthik officially put his name in the race to bag the wicketkeeping role in the Indian side, which puts him up against the likes of Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson.

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"At this stage in my life, it would be the greatest feeling for me to represent India. I'm very, very keen to do so. There is nothing bigger in my life other than representing India in this T20 World Cup, said Karthik, who will turn 39 by the time the T20 World Cup begins in June. He was also part of the last edition of the T20 World Cup in Australia in 2022, which remains his last appearance in Indian colours.

While Karthik was never in the reckoning for a spot in the World Cup squad heading into IPL 2024, his stellar batting show sparked a buzz about the possibility. Rohit, speaking to former England captain Michael Vaughan and former Australia batsman Adam Gilchrist on the Club Prairie Fire podcast, earlier this week, responded to the chorus saying that it would be easier to convince the RCB batter to once again play for India.

"Quite impressed, watching DK bat a couple of nights back, and Dhoni as well, came to play four balls, made a huge impact, that was the difference. It will be hard to convince MS although he is coming to the US, to do something else. He is into golf now. DK will be easier to convince I guess," Rohit had said.

With Karthik entering the T20 World Cup race, the battle for the wicketkeeping slot has gone a notch higher. At almost the halfway mark in the IPL 2024 season, Pant has emerged as the frontrunner for the role after he returned to his formidable best with two half-centuries for Delhi Capitals, followed by Samson, who has clobbered three fifties for Rajasthan Royals.

The race also includes KL Rahul, who is currently the leading run-getter among the wicketkeeping hopefuls, following his knock of 83 against Chennai Super Kings on Friday in Lucknow, and there is also Ishan Kishan, who has been in fabulous form for Mumbai Indians up the order.

Karthik concluded by saying that he would accept whatever head coach Rahul Dravid, Rohit and Agarkar decides

"I also feel there are three very, very stable, honest people who are at the helm to decide what should be the best Indian team for the World Cup -- Rahul Dravid, Rohit Sharma and Ajit Agarkar. And I'm completely with them. I respect any decision that they take. But all I can say is I'm 100 per cent ready, and I'll do everything I can to be on that flight to the World Cup."

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