India on Monday became the third team after New Zealand and Australia to announce their squad for the upcoming ICC World Cup that will be held in England and Wales. Dinesh Karthik has taken up the reserve wicketkeeper slot and could also be a potential number 4, along with Vijay Shankar. The position has been an Achilles’ heel for the selectors for some time now and Ambati Rayudu, who played in that position in most of India’s recent ODI matches, has missed out.
Rishabh Pant, who has been India’s regular wicketkeeper in Tests in the absence of Wriddhiman Saha, is another absentee and chairman of selectors MSK Prasad explained that Karthik was chosen due to his superior wicketkeeping skills. “The situation that was discussed among the selection committee, one of them will play in the XI provided MS is injured,” Prasad in the press conference after the squad was announced. “So under such situations, in crunch matches, who is the best guy who can handle the pressure? That is the reason that went in favour of Dinesh Karthik. Pant is full of talent. There’s a lot of time for him. It’s just unfortunate that he’s missed out. Under pressure, we have seen Dinesh Karthik finishing matches. That scored for him.”