IND v NZ 2021: Dinesh Karthik picks the toughest spot up for grabs in India's T20I team

Dinesh Karthik also lauded Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul.

Rituraj Gaikwad, Devdutt Padikkal, Venkatesh Iyer, Ishan Kishan | Getty Images

The Indian cricket team would certainly be looking for a few backup options and try to give them as much game time as possible ahead of the next ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia after the Men in Blue’s early exit from the recent T20 World Cup 2021 in the UAE.

In the recently concluded T20I series against New Zealand at home, Venkatesh Iyer and Harshal Patel made debuts for India. However, India had named five openers for the T20I series – KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, and Venkatesh Iyer.

But only Venkatesh managed to get two games, with Ishan playing only in the final T20I, as Rohit and Rahul both featured in the two T20Is and played a key role in India’s 3-0 series win on Sunday.

After the end of the T20I series against New Zealand, veteran wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik lauded Rohit and Rahul as two of the world's best openers, as well as India’s strength and available talent in the side. He also said that the third opener is the toughest spot.

Read Also: IND v NZ 2021: "I'm sure he will be on that flight to Australia," Karthik backs Chahal to feature in next T20 World Cup

Karthik told Cricbuzz: “That time will tell. Among all those slots that are up for grabs, the toughest spot in the third opener. There are some terrific names. People all the way from Shikhar Dhawan, Rituraj Gaikwad, Devdutt Padikkal, Venkatesh Iyer, Ishan Kishan, I can throw you a few more names. That's the strength of Indian cricket and the beauty is we have two solid openers, arguably two of the world's best.”

He further explained, “Whoever comes in either has to fit themselves in at No.3, but Virat Kohli will again return and reclaim it. So the only chance is being a backup opener. Ishan Kishan in all fairness has done a fabulous job in the last couple of matches for Mumbai Indians and in the practice matches although he did not get opportunities in the T20 World Cup. So he has been in good nick.”

Karthik signed off by saying, “The problem with the third opener is that you get only one opportunity. After this, we don't even know when the next series will be. By that time, some other guy comes and scores because he played a few good domestic matches. That's the headache of being an Indian cricketer. You have to be consistently performing.”


By Rashmi Nanda - 22 Nov, 2021

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