Vivek Razdan has called for the exclusion of Dinesh Karthik from the Indian T20 team, stating the role he plays isn't unique and can be undertaken by the other players already in the lineup. He went on to discuss what is expected of a finisher and why it is a particularly difficult role to judge.
Dinesh Karthik's comeback to the Indian team after three years has been the talk of the town this summer, given how the batsman has redefined his game to fit into a new role in the side. Previously a top-order batsman known for building up his innings, Karthik used the platform offered by Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League to now establish himself as a world-class finisher in the T20 format. In the league's latest edition, he averaged over 40 while striking the ball over 180, winning several games for his team.
Thus earning the callback to the national side, the wicket-keeper batsman is the only player to have since played every T20I for the Men in Blue. He has been allocated a clear role of striking the ball hard and scoring rapidly in the last four overs. While managing a few impact innings, the 37-year-old has failed to translate his success to the international arena. In 13 innings, he averages a little over 20 while having a relatively low strike rate of 133.33.
Former Indian bowler Vivek Razdan believes Karthik's returns are not enough to earn him a spot in the Indian lineup, given his peculiarly specific role which can be performed by a host of other multi-dimensional batsmen in the squad.
"Picking Dinesh Karthik only as a finisher doesn't seem quite right to me. You are blocking a spot for Dinesh Karthik. You tell me who among Suryakumar Yadav, Virat Kohli, Deepak Hooda, Hardik Pandya can't do that job of a finisher?," he said on Fan Code as per Hindustan Times.
"As a sportsperson, it is a given, when you are playing at a higher level and when people expect certain things out of you. What is important is making sure that on a given day, what the match situation is, reading the match situation and trying to give your best on that given day.
Karthik might find it difficult to keep his place in the team for the upcoming World T20 should he fail in this month's Asia Cup. The T20 format depends a lot on a team's combinations and the ability to have multiple permutations with a set of 11 players as per the demands of the game. Karthik's inclusion takes away some of that flexibility from the captain, which might result in the team management keeping him on the bench.
"Finisher's role is one such that it is hard to be consistent. Every time you get in, you should be able to make an impact that will help the team. It works both ways, the bowlers are clever and they try to force you to hit into the wind as much as possible. That makes it all the tougher," Razdan added.