'Leave out Ashwin and play Umesh. Not Kohli, India's key batter will be...': Karthik's WTC final advice for Dravid

Jun 07, 2023 09:42 AM IST

Amid the discussion around The Oval pitch, Dinesh Karthik gave his final advice to head coach Rahul Dravid pertaining to the bowling combination.

Dinesh Karthik left Indian cricket fans worried after posting a picture of The Oval track a day before the World Test Championship final between India and Australia. The post immediately sparked off a debate on whether India should play both their spinners in Ravindra Jadeja and RavichandraN Ashwin or should they pick a fourth seamer by resting the latter. Amid the discussion and the concern for the top-order batters against the moving ball, veteran India wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik gave his final advice to head coach Rahul Dravid pertaining to the bowling combination.

Ashwin; Umesh Yadav; Dinesh Karthik
Ashwin; Umesh Yadav; Dinesh Karthik

Speaking on Cricbuzz ahead of the summit clash in London, Karthik suggested on dropping the legendary Ashwin and go for another fast-bowling option in Umesh Yadav, a opinion that stands on stark contrast to most other experts like Ricky Ponting, who advised India to go with both their spinners. Karthik explained that while he enjoyed watching Ashwin in the Southampton Test last year against England, Umesh looked far better in the nets.

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ALSO READ: ‘I haven’t said Ashwin won't play': Rohit on Jadeja's chances and India's spin attack for WTC final vs Australia

"Leave out Ashwin and play four pacers. I enjoyed Ashwin bowling in Southampton, but - is the coach gonna do the same thing again? I doubt it. Umesh Yadav has bowled well in the nets. He is looking sharp, and feeling good body-wise. I have a strong feeling they’ll go with Umesh," he said.

Karthik also spoke about Virat Kohli and his form going into the WTC final after he smashed consecutive centuries in IPL 2023 against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and Gujarat Titans (GT).

“He [Virat Kohli] batted well right from the start. In the first game, he got a 70 against Mumbai Indians. He was looking top-notch, and right at the back end of the IPL. He showed his class. The two hundreds that he got is phenomenal. He is batting brilliantly and I am very sure he’ll have a good score," he said.

However, the veteran batter felt that more than Kohli, it will be Cheteshwar Pujara who will playing the deciding role in terms of batting between the two sides. Pujara heads to the game on the back of a stunning run for Sussex in County Championship, scoring 545 runs which included three centuries.

“For me the key for India to do well in the WTC final and if they wanna cross the line, it’s gonna be Cheteshwar Pujara," Karthik added.

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