After the series Down Under, Australia will be up against India in their own backyard. In the meantime, BCCI has named a few interesting names and dropped a few surprising ones. While the likes of KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant have been called back into the squad, the wicket-keeper batsman Dinesh Karthik didn’t make it to the fifty overs team. Karthik’s exclusion from the ODI squad came as a big shock for the cricket fraternity as they eventually raised their voices. Karthik, from the time he is back in the colored jersey, has done extensively well and played a few heroics. One of them is still in the fresh memory – the last ball six in the Nidahas Trophy final.
After the announcement, the cricket pundits opined their thoughts and one of them turned out to be former Indian cricketer and flamboyant commentator Sanjay Manjrekar. Speaking to Espncricinfo, Manjrekar went on saying that exclusion of Karthik is probably the end of the road for him in the 50-over format. He believes that the decision by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has made one thing clear that the team management is looking at him as a T20 specialist only.
"His fans will feel sorry because with the opportunity he has got, he has done as well as he could but I feel with this selection or non-selection of Karthik, India have told everyone that we look at Karthik as a T20 batsman and his 50-over future is over as far as we are concerned."
Manjrekar feels that despite some match-winning knocks he has not played an innings like Ambati Rayudu, who scored a match-defining 90 to revive India's innings. And with most of his knocks coming as a finisher, the numbers have been overlooked.
"He has done well in the opportunities he has got, but he has been around for a long time and the selectors are thinking just like me - World Cup, big stage, big match, 50-overs cricket, Dinesh Karthik. Ambati Rayudu by playing that innings in New Zealand when he put India on the track of recovery and got the team to get a big score. Dinesh Karthik hasn't played that kind of an innings. He has mostly played the role of a finisher. So this is where the numbers are disregarded by the selectors, the captain, the management and they are thinking temperamentally so far what we have seen of Karthik, is he someone who will excite us a 50-overs cricket at World Cup and they have said no and I don't grudge them for that," Manjrekar explained.
Sanjay Manjrekar also compared Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik, and eventually went on saying that Karthik is little better than Pant as Pant is a liability in the field.
"Both have got distinct weaknesses in the field with Dhoni keeping wickets. Karthik is actually little better than Pant who is a liability in the field. But because of Pant's recent exploits, he has given a sort of hope. But I am not a big supporter of Pant as a batsman because he still hasn't set the stage on fire in 50-overs cricket and so you play him no matter what," Manjrekar concluded.