"One Of The First Names Written Down": South Africa Great Backs Dinesh Karthik For T20 World Cup Squad
Dinesh Karthik scored 55 runs off just 27 balls in the fourth T20I against South Africa, setting up a win for Team India
Having played his first T20I in 2006, Dinesh Karthik is still marching on in the shortest format of the game and 16 years later, he registered his maiden T20I fifty against South Africa in the fourth game of the five-match series on Friday, helping India level the series. The 37-year-old went on to play a knock of 55 runs off just 27 balls with the help of 9 fours and 2 sixes.
Former South Africa pacer Dale Steyn lauded Karthik, saying he reads the game really well and backs it up with very good skill.
"DK has been in phenomenal form. This year, he is getting better and better. He has the wicketkeeper mentality, he reads the game really well, he knows and understands what bowlers are trying to do and he backs it up with very good skill. He reverse sweeps, sweeps, laps. They are shots being played by somebody who reads and understands the game, understands what the bowler is going to bowl when before he runs up to bowl," Steyn said on ESPNcricinfo's 'T20 Time Out'.
"He does it so well, he attacks the first and last ball of the over, he puts the bowlers under pressure on ball one, and then the guys, they don't really have an answer," he added.
When asked whether DK is ahead of Pant right now on the basis of current form, Steyn said: "Pant has had four opportunities in this series, where he seems to be making the same mistakes. Also, you think that good players learn from their mistakes, he has not. DK has just come out every single time and shown what a class player he is. If you want to win the World Cup, you want to pick a guy who is in form. There are guys who team will pick on reputation, but DK is in such fantastic form, if he continues this form, he is going to be one of the first names written down on the plane when India tours for the World Cup later this year."
Walking out to bat in the 13th over, Karthik saw out the initial few balls and then he started to tee off, helping India post 169/6 in 20 overs in the fourth T20I.
Team India defended 169 with ease in the fourth T20I as they bundled out South Africa for 87. Avesh Khan was the pick of the bowlers as he returned with four wickets.
The series decider will now be played at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Sunday evening.