Dinesh Karthik Age, Biography, career, stats, networth, Ranking & News

Dinesh Karthik

Ajinkya Rahane during the Test series in England. Pic: Getty Images
Ajinkya Rahane during the Test series in England. Pic: Getty Images
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Dinesh Karthik Says Ajinkya Rahane Getting Dropped For Mumbai Test “Will Ease Some Of The Pressure On Him”

Dinesh Karthik feels Ajinkya Rahane getting dropped from the Indian team for the Mumbai Test will help ease some of the pressure off him.

With Ajinkya Rahane struggling for form with the bat, speculation is rife that his place in Team India’s playing XI is in danger for the second and final Test against New Zealand at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

Dinesh Karthik file image. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
Dinesh Karthik file image. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Dinesh Karthik: Pressure Will Obviously Be On Ajinkya Rahane After Shreyas Iyer’s Excellent Performances In The Draw 1st Test

Ajinkya Rahane posted scores of 35 and 4 in the drawn opening Test in Kanpur to continue his poor run this year. The 33-year-old batter has an unenviable average of 19.6 in 2021. According to Indian cricketer Dinesh Karthik, Ajinkya Rahane getting dropped from the team for the Mumbai Test will help ease some of the pressure off him.

“With Shreyas Iyer coming in and doing so well, I think the pressure will obviously be on Rahane and he might be the one to be dropped. This has happened during a tour of South Africa when Rahane was dropped for a game before he again came back. There is no harm if Rahane’s dropped for a game,” Dinesh Karthik said in a discussion.

Ajinkya Rahane. (Photo Source: Getty Images)
Ajinkya Rahane. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

“Iyer has literally taken India to a safe zone in this Test on his own. He’s done really well. And It’s not like Rahane has not been among the runs in 1-2 Tests. It has been going on for a long time now. I don’t think it’s such a bad thing for him to be dropped. It will ease some of the pressure on him,” Dinesh Karthik added.

Ajinkya Rahane has had a horror run with the bat over the last year, which has seen his average dip to under 40. In fact, he averages a mere 19.57 in 12 Tests in 2021, his lowest average in a year since debuting in 2013.

Dinesh Karthik: Cheteshwar Pujara Hasn’t Scored A Ton In A Long Time

Cheteshwar Pujara has done slightly better at 30.43 from the same number of games in 2021 but had a horrid time in 2020, averaging only 20.38 in 4 Tests.

“I do think a similar sort of baggage is there on (Cheteshwar) Pujara too. He hasn’t got a hundred in a long time. And since the start of 2020, he too has averaged in the mid-20s. These are two players who have set their standards very high. They would know they haven’t performed according to expectations.”

Cheteshwar Pujara
Cheteshwar Pujara[photo: Twitter]
Cheteshwar Pujara, who scored 26 and 22 in Kanpur, was dismissed in a similar manner as he was criticized for having a technical flaw in his game. Mayank Agarwal managed scores of 13 and 17 in the Kanpur Test. On other hand, Ajinkya Rahane scored 35 and 4 in the 1st Test. As a result, one of the trios has to make way for Virat Kohli, who will return in the 2nd Test.

While Ajinkya Rahane has not scored a century since December 2020- a memorable 112 against Australia, Cheteshwar Pujara hasn’t scored a ton since he made 193 against Australia in January 2019.

Meanwhile, Shreyas Iyer became the hero of the 1st Test as he smashed his maiden century (105) on Day 2 of the first Test and again stole the show with his knock of 65, helping India in a position of command on Day 4 of the Kanpur Test.

New Zealand managed to survive by the barest of margins on the last day of the first Test against India after a gritty performance from their lower-order batters ensured that visitors walked away with a draw.

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
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Off-Spinner Ravichandran Ashwin And Pacer Kapil Dev Should Be Spoken Of In The Same Breath: Dinesh Karthik

Dinesh Karthik feels veteran spinner Ravichandran Ashwin should be considered an all-time great in Indian cricket, especially in the game’s longest format. One of the finest spinners of his generation, Ravichandran Ashwin’s all-around show paved the way for Ajinkya Rahane-led India to stage an incredible comeback on a penultimate Day 4 of the 1st Test match between New Zealand and hosts India at the Green Park stadium in Kanpur. 

After Ajinkya Rahane-led Team India side was reduced to 51/5 in their 2nd innings, Ravichandran Ashwin played a perfect second fiddle to an in-form batsman Shreyas Iyer to help the hosts bounce back on the penultimate day of the series opener.

The senior spinner then showcased his bowling exploits in New Zealand’s 2nd innings by getting the better of opener Will Young to make sure India finish the day ahead of the Kane Williamson-led side.

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Dinesh Karthik Admits Ravichandran Ashwin, And Kapil Dev Should Be Spoken In The Same Breath

Talking about Ravichandran Ashwin playing a crucial role in the 1st Test at Kanpur, Indian batter Dinesh Karthik described the veteran off-spinner as one of the greatest matchwinners for India in the longest format.

Dinesh Karthik opined that off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and legendary pace all-rounder Kapil Dev should be spoken of in the same breath when it comes to Indian cricket. The Indian wicketkeeper batter and former Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) skipper opined that Ravichandran Ashwin and Kapil Dev are definitely two of the best all-rounders Team India has ever had for a long period of time.

Dinesh Karthik feels veteran spinner Ravichandran Ashwin should be considered an all-time great in Indian cricket | Photo: IANS/ AP
Dinesh Karthik feels veteran spinner Ravichandran Ashwin should be considered an all-time great in Indian cricket | Photo: IANS/ AP

“Obviously, I don’t think I am in a place to judge both of them, but I must admit that they should be spoken of in the same breath when it comes to Indian cricket because both of them have been match-winners, have been exemplary, and have been definitely the two best all-rounders to have come out of this soil for a long, long time,” Dinesh Karthik explained. 

Ravichandran Ashwin chipped in with a crucial 32 off 62 balls before Shreyas Iyer (62) and Wriddhiman Saha (61*) slammed half-centuries as India declared at 234 for 7 in the 2nd innings.

Dinesh Karthik Reckns Ravichandran Ashwin Is Among India’s Best All-rounders

The senior spinner then became the joint third-highest wicket-taker for India in Test history when he removed New Zealand’s Will Young on Day 4 of the 1st Test at Kanpur.

“You have to put him there (among India’s best all-rounders) with the number of Man of the Series he has won, the accolades he has got obviously. Getting 417 wickets in 80 Tests is an unbelievable record to have and the fact that he’s contributed and scored five hundred, much more than a lot of the batters who play for a longer period of time in Test matches.

“There are people who have played 30-35 Tests, and still haven’t managed five hundreds,” Dinesh Karthik added.

Dinesh Karthik file image. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
Dinesh Karthik file image. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has played 5 T20Is since his comeback in the limited-overs format after a gap of 4 years. He has picked 9 scalps at an average of 11.66 and an economy rate of 5.25, and a strike rate of 13.3. The 35-year-old Ravichandran Ashwin last played white-ball cricket for India in 2017 before being sidelined from one-day cricket following the Champions Trophy debacle.

He was left out from all 4 Tests that India played on the England tour, despite being the leading wicket-taker in the squad by picking up 417 wickets in the 80 Tests he has played for India, at an excellent average of 24.53. As a result, India registered a whitewash against 2021 T20 World Cup finalists New Zealand, winning the bilateral T20I series 3-0 in a convincing fashion before narrowly missing an outright win in the 1st Test.

Two Indian-born cricketers, Ajaz Patel and Rachin Ravindra, showed remarkable resilience under fading light and on a deteriorating track to defy India’s famous spinners, eking out a thrilling draw for New Zealand in the opening Test on Monday.

Indian spinners, led by Ravindra Jadeja (4/40), put up one of their most persevering performances in recent times. Still, Mumbai-born Ajaz Patel (2 off 23 balls) and Karnataka-born Rachin Ravindra (18 not out off 91 balls) consumed 8.4 overs after the fall of the ninth wicket to keep New Zealand on an even keel in the two-match series.

India 345 (Iyer 105, Gill 52, Jadeja 50, Southee 5-69, Jamieson 3-91) and 234 for 7 dec (Iyer 65, Saha 61, Jamieson 3-40, Southee 3-75) drew with New Zealand 296 (Latham 95, Young 89, Axar 5-62, Ashwin 3-82) and 165 for 9 (Latham 52, Jadeja 4-40, Ashwin 3-35)

Dinesh Karthik Photo: © Reuters (Main Image)
Dinesh Karthik Photo: © Reuters (Main Image)
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Wriddhiman Saha Fought His Way To Score 61* Through A Stiff Neck: Dinesh Karthik

Wriddhiman Saha is drawing praises for his valiant knock during the fourth day of the first Test between India and New Zealand in Kanpur. Wriddhiman Saha was battling a neck issue, but he still batted and went on to score a gritty half-century pushing his team on top in the series opener against the world champions.

Wriddhiman Saha scored an unbeaten 61 and required the attention of the team’s physio. He didn’t keep during New Zealand’s first innings and went back to the dressing room after having kept for just a couple of overs on Sunday.

India Test wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha (Photo | PTI)
India Test wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha (Photo | PTI)

Wriddhiman Saha Is A Solid Batsman And Has Got A Bit Of Dogfight In Him, Fought His Way Through A Stiff Neck: Dinesh Karthik

Fellow wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik is impressed with how Wriddhiman Saha performed under pressure considering the rich plaudits his injury stand-in KS Bharat was drawing for his skills behind the stumps.

“What I like about him is that he was again having his back against the wall in this Test. This could have easily been one of his last Test innings because there would have been a lot of pressure to bring Srikar Bharat for the next Test,” Karthik said.

Dinesh Karthik file image. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
Dinesh Karthik file image. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
“But again, I was just happy to see Wriddhiman Saha bat because he’s a solid batter, he’s really good, he’s got a bit of dogfight in him, you know, he fought his way through a stiff neck, changed his stance up, batted differently to what he’s used to but delivered. It’s good to see somebody with old legs coming and pushing people and showing how it can be done,” he added.

Dinesh Karthik said Wriddhiman Saha comes through when conditions are really rough.

“I called him a street fighter, I hope that’s not too derogatory to him, on the commentary today. To me, he’s that sort of guy when the conditions are really, really tough he’s the fighter, the bloke who comes in and does the job when they are down and need him,” he said.

Wriddhiman Saha, on Day 4, batted extremely well to help India set a competitive target for New Zealand. Despite reeling in pain and going through bouts of on-field treatment from the team physio, the Bengal stumper scored a gritty 61 off 126 balls.

Wriddhiman Saha Put Together A 64 Run Stand With Shreyas Iyer And Unbeaten 67 Run Stand With Axar Patel

He put together a 64-run stand with Shreyas Iyer for the sixth wicket to rescue India from 103/6. Wriddhiman Saha, on Day 4, batted extremely well to help India set a competitive target for New Zealand. He put together a 64-run stand with Shreyas Iyer for the sixth wicket to rescue India from 103/6.

KS Bharat will keep the wickets for India on Day five© AFP
KS Bharat will keep the wickets for India on Day five© AFP.

Once Shreyas Iyer was dismissed at the stroke of Tea, Wriddhiman Saha and Axar Patel put 67 for the 7th wicket before stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane declared India’s innings at 234/7, setting the Black Caps a stiff target of 284.

Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh-born KS Bharat was immensely impressive in the first innings. He affected three key dismissals and played a massive role in helping India come back in the first innings.

Substitute KS Bharat will don the wicket-keeping gloves for the Indian side on Day 5 of the 1st Test against New Zealand. Regular keeper Wriddhiman Saha is experiencing stiffness in his neck, and as a result, he will not come out to keep.

KS Bharat was forced to keep wickets coming as a substitute after Wriddhiman Saha suffered a sprain on his neck before the start of play. KS Bharat took two splendid catches while also pulling off a spectacular stumping to dismiss Tom Latham in the 1st innings.

Wridhiman Saha was declared fit to bat and has walked into the middle on Day 4 of the Test match. It remains to be seen if he is fit enough to don the gloves in New Zealand’s second innings.

With doubts over Wriddhiman Saha’s batting form and fitness, a Test debut for KS Bharat should not be far away. He is yet to play an international match for India in any format.

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Ajinkya Rahane And Cheteshwar Pujara’s Constant Failure Could See Rahul Dravid Act As Catalyst – Dinesh Karthik

Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara are under pressure which is only going to increase every time they don’t make a big score in the forthcoming months with India set to play more red-ball cricket, as a veteran wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik has said. The duo of Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara failed to go past 50 on Day 1 of India’s first Test against New Zealand.

Ajinkya Rahane has had a horror run with the bat over the last year, which has seen his average dip to under 40. In fact, he averages a mere 20.35 in 12 Tests in 2021, his lowest average in a year since debuting in 2013.
Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara both failed to score half centuries on Day 1 of the first Test against New Zealand. (AFP Photo)
Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara both failed to score half-centuries on Day 1 of the first Test against New Zealand. (AFP Photo)

Ajinkya Rahane And Cheteshwar Pujara Would Be Undoubtedly Disappointed: Dinesh Karthik

While Ajinkya Rahane has not scored a century since December 2020- a memorable 112 against Australia, Cheteshwar Pujara hasn’t scored a ton since he made 193 against Australia in January 2019. Ajinkya Rahane is averaging just 20.35 this year from 12 Tests while Cheteshwar Pujara has done slightly better at 30.85 from the same number of games in 2021 but had a horrid time in 2020, averaging only 20.38 in 4 Tests.

“They would be disappointed, no doubt. There has been this word out that they need to score hundreds because they haven’t in some time and with every match that pressure seems to increase,” Karthik said.

Dinesh Karthik file image. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
Dinesh Karthik file image. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

“Since Test matches were played sporadically, they have not been in the spotlight as often in the recent past. There has been a lot of white-ball cricket recently so it has kind of gone under the radar but once Test cricket starts in full tilt again, they will come under the spotlight every time they don’t score runs. With every game the voices from outside will seem to get louder,” said Karthik.

Ajinkya Rahane, who is India’s captain for the first Test, fell after scoring 35 off 63 balls while Cheteshwar Pujara, the vice-captain of the team in Kanpur, scored 26 in 88 balls. Ajinkya Rahane came in at No.4, which is usually the spot that Virat Kohli bats in but the latter has been rested for the first Test.

Dinesh Karthik: Shreyas Iyer’s Ton Might Put Cheteshwar Pujara And Ajinkya Rahane’s Position In Jeopardy But Rahul Dravid May Help The Pair

Debutant Shreyas Iyer, who came in his place at No.5, ended up batting through the rest of the day and scoring 75 off 136 balls on the 1st day. India was in a shaky spot after the dismissals of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane but Shreyas Iyer’s 113-run stand with Ravindra Jadeja, who was not out on 50 off 100 balls at the end of the day, put India in a commanding position.

Rahul Dravid and Cheteshwar Pujara. (Image Source: Twitter)
Rahul Dravid and Cheteshwar Pujara. (Image Source: Twitter)

Dinesh Karthik said that Shreyas Iyer’s performance might put Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane’s position in the team under question but head coach Rahul Dravid could help the pair.

“Now, Shreyas Iyer walks in at No.5 and scores a fifty. If he goes on to make a hundred and then does well in the next game, what are they going to do when they go to South Africa (for their upcoming tour starting December). Are they going to hold on to him or one of these two? These are the big questions that Rahul Dravid has to answer.”

“Having said that, Rahul Dravid knows the value of someone like Pujara or Rahane. I think somewhere, the quality of Rahul Dravid will come out through these two batters because they have very similar methods and styles of play. So maybe, he feels that he can get the best out of them and he might act as the catalyst to get their Test careers propelling forward,” said Karthik.

Shreyas Iyer on Friday became the 16th Indian batter to score a century on Test debut. Shreyas Iyer, who was presented his maiden Test cap by Sunil Gavaskar on Day 1 of the Kanpur Test against New Zealand, started off his Test career in style, finishing the day on 75 not out. And early morning on Day 2, the 26-year-old batter knocked off 25 runs to join an elite list of Indian batters.

Among those to score a century on Test debut for India are the likes of Mohammad Azharuddin, Sourav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, and Prithvi Shaw. Before Shreyas Iyer, Prithvi Shaw was the last India batter to register a three-digit score in 2018, scoring 134 against West Indies.

Yuzvendra Chahal
Yuzvendra Chahal
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Yuzvendra Chahal Will Be On That Flight To Australia For The Next T20 World Cup, Says Dinesh Karthik

Dinesh Karthik, a veteran Indian wicketkeeper-batsman on Sunday picked leg-spinner, Yuzvendra Chahal, as an absolute certainty for Rohit Sharma-led India’s squad for the 2022 T20 World Cup slated to be played in Australia next October.

Following the culmination of the India-New Zealand bilateral T20I series, Dinesh Karthik named one bowler Yuzvendra Chahal who he believes will be a certain selection in Rohit Sharma’s India in the 2022 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia.

Dinesh Karthik file image. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
Dinesh Karthik file image. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Dinesh Karthik: Yuzvendra Chahal Has Single-Handedly Grown In Stature In IPL And Will Be Retained By RCB Franchise

Yuzvendra Chahal was finally picked in India’s T20I squad for the third game against New Zealand in the series. It was his first appearance for India since the tour of Sri Lanka in summer earlier this year, following which he was dropped from the T20 World Cup squad where Rahul Chahar was picked ahead of him. However, following the end of the tournament, the bowler was reconsidered for the New Zealand series while Rahul Chahar was dropped.

Dinesh Karthik was all praise for the leg-spinner as he made his comeback to the XI, pointing out how he has improved as a bowler and how also being a chess player has helped him as a bowler.

“Great to see him come back. And he showed his character. The way he bowled in the second leg of IPL, he was an absolute champion. He is the top leg-spinner in India. I always rate him very high because he is also a chess player and they are always a couple of moves ahead than normal people,” said Dinesh Karthik.

“And that is always a special attribute for me. He’s got good skills, good variations and is a brave bowler and he has single-handedly grown in stature in IPL. He was bought for INR 10 lakhs by RCB in 2013, and now he is beyond what it is and that shows he has improved over time and has shown his value. I’m sure he will be retained by the franchise,” said Dinesh Karthik.

Leg-spinners Rahul Chahar (L) and Yuzvendra Chahal
Leg-spinners Rahul Chahar (L) and Yuzvendra Chahal

”He is also a very good bowler abroad as well, a very important attribute to keep in mind when India travel to Australia for the next T20 World Cup. I am sure he will be on that flight to Australia. And I also know Rohit trusts him a lot. Their relationship is not just strong off the field, on the field they have some good conversations,” said Dinesh Karthik.

Yuzvendra Chahal picked only four wickets in seven games in the India leg of the 2021 Indian Premier League, at an economy rate of 8.26, which saw him fall out of contention for the race to the T20 World Cup squad, to Rahul Chahar, who snared 11 wickets in as many games at an economy rate of 7.21.

However, the RCB leg spinner made an impressive comeback in the second leg, picking 14 wickets in eight matches at an economy rate of 7.06. At the same time, Rahul Chahar struggled immensely, managing only two wickets in four games at an economy rate of 7.73.

Yuzvendra Chahal Felt Down For 2-3 Days After Being Surprisingly Dropped For T20I World Cup

Earlier this month, Yuzvendra Chahal had opened up about his World Cup snub, saying that he found it difficult to come to terms with the shocking decision, but his family and fans helped him bounce back.

“I was not dropped in four years and then I got dropped for such a marquee event. I felt really bad. I was down for two-three days. But then I knew the second leg of the IPL was still around the corner. I went back to my coaches and spoke to them a lot,” Yuzvendra Chahal said.

Yuzvendra Chahal picked a wicket, that of New Zealand opener Martin Guptill, on his return to XI, conceding 26 runs in four overs as India beat New Zealand by 73 runs in the final inconsequential T20I against New Zealand and register a 3-0 whitewash at home.

RCB leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal in action during IPL 2020 | Saikat Das / Sportzpics for BCCI
RCB leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal in action during IPL 2020 | Saikat Das / Sportzpics for BCCI

Yuzvendra Chahal missed the bus to T20 World Cup 2021 owing to some inconsistent performances, both for India as well as in the first half of the Indian Premier League for Royal Challengers Bangalore. Varun Chakravarthy, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, and Ravindra Jadeja were the spin options for India in the 2021 T20I World Cup.

The 35-year old spinner Ravichandran Ashwin made noteworthy outings in the opening two games against New Zealand, where he returned with figures 4-0-23-2 and 4-0-19-1, but he was rested for the final 3rd T20I as Yuzvendra Chahal was picked instead.

KL Rahul And Rohit Sharma (Image Credit: Twitter)
KL Rahul And Rohit Sharma (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Rohit Sharma And KL Rahul Are Undoubtedly First Choice Openers: Dinesh Karthik

Dinesh Karthik, wicket-keeper batsman has complete faith in KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma as the go-to opening pair for Team India. He believes this should be the opening pair heading into the T20 World Cup next year.

The pair once again stitched a vital stand at the top of the order against New Zealand on Friday. They built a solid platform to secure a series win for India over New Zealand with one match remaining.

KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma---Image: Twitter
KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma—Image: Twitter

Dinesh Karthik: Rohit Sharma And KL Rahul Are Undoubtedly First Choice Openers But India Need To Find A 3rd Opener

Dinesh Karthik feels India should focus on finding their third and final opener in the squad. He will need to bat at the top in case an injury rules out either Rohit Sharma or KL Rahul from playing. He also noted that there is no need for more than three openers in the squad.

The 117-run stand in the 2nd T20I was their fifth-century partnership as a pair in T20Is, the joint-most for any pair, equaling the feat of Pakistan’s Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan. It was also their fourth as an opening pair, equaling the feat of the Pakistani pair and India’s Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan.

Rohit Sharma now holds the record of being part of most century stands in T20I cricket, surpassing Pakistan’s Babar Azam and Martin Guptill from New Zealand.

“In my mind there is no doubt that Rohit and Rahul are the first choice openers. What they need to find out is, if one of them is injured for the World Cup, then who is going to be their third opener who can fill in. I don’t think we need more than 3 openers in the squad.”

Dinesh Karthik Photo: © Reuters (Main Image)
Dinesh Karthik Photo: © Reuters (Main Image)

Dinesh Karthik also put up some good options for the spot. Ishan Kishan, Venkatesh Iyer, and Ruturaj Gaikwad are the other options to open in the squad while Shikhar Dhawan, who isn’t in the squad is another option for his excellent run in the last two IPL seasons.

He added: “Are you going to look towards a left-hander like Ishan Kishan, Venkatesh Iyer, or Shikhar Dhawan or someone like Ruturaj Gaikwad. One of them should definitely be given a break in the next game and the team should look into their third opener.”

Dinesh Karthik termed India’s performance in the second T20I as clinical as the team romped their way to victory without any prominent hiccups. He also lauded coach Rahul Dravid for sending Venkatesh Iyer in at No.3.

“The word here is clinical. Just going ahead with things smooth and calm manner. Good to see Iyer getting a hit. Good on Rahul Dravid to promote him up the order. Straightforward finish for India very good batting upfront by Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul, let’s not forget about the quality of the knocks they both played.” Karthik explained.

The KKR all-rounder came into bat in the previous contest in a pressure situation and perished in just two deliveries. This time around, he was able to settle in and assess the conditions. The team was already in a comfortable position by the time he arrived at the crease. He remained unbeaten on 12 off 11 deliveries as Rishabh Pant finished the innings from the other end with his pyrotechnics.

Dinesh Karthik: India Must Continue In The Same Vein While New Zealand Would Be Disappointed To Lose The T20I Series Despite Coming As T20I WC Runners Up

Dinesh Karthik noted India’s dominance in bilateral series, especially at home. He feels that the process under coach Rahul Dravid is in place for the team to succeed at big tournaments in a similar fashion.

“Disappointing from New Zealand’s perspective, coming in as runner-ups in a World Cup final and pretty much getting thrashed in both matches by India here. This also goes on to show India’s ability to do so well in bilateral series and if they continue in the same way, form, and confidence like this into multi-nation tournaments, we will be unstoppable in many ways, the process is already out in place, we have a good coach and a steady captain. Interesting times ahead for Team India.” Karthik elaborated.

Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI
Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI

India has already secured the series following wins in Jaipur and Ranchi. The focus is expected to be on bench strength as the teams move to Kolkata to play the third and final T20I of the series.

Dinesh Karthik Photo: © Reuters (Main Image)
Dinesh Karthik Photo: © Reuters (Main Image)
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Shreyas Iyer And Venkatesh Iyer Won’t Be Judged After Their Failure vs New Zealand In The 1st T20I, Says Dinesh Karthik

Dinesh Karthik believes that despite their failures in the first India-New Zealand T20I, Shreyas Iyer and Venkatesh Iyer won’t feel “judged” or insecure in the Indian dressing room under the watch of Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid.

Chasing 165 in Jaipur, India, looked comfortable for the most part. But when skipper Rohit Sharma (48) and Suryakumar Yadav (62) were dismissed in quick succession, the pressure was back. Shreyas Iyer (5 off 8) struggled with his timing, and debutant Venkatesh Iyer, too, hit a boundary off his first ball and lost his wicket on the next ball.

Dinesh Karthik file image. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
Dinesh Karthik file image. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Dinesh Karthik: It’s Just One Game Where Shreyas Iyer And Venkatesh Iyer Failed As They Won’t Be Judged On The Basis Of The 1st T20I vs NZ

Their performances didn’t affect the result as Rishabh Pant (17*) sealed the final-over chase with two balls to spare. Speaking after the match, Dinesh Karthik said both Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid had endured a lot of failure in their careers, so they won’t let just one bad game affect Shreyas Iyer and Venkatesh Iyer’s confidence.

Dinesh Karthik said: “Shreyas Iyer and Venkatesh Iyer, the middle-order batsmen that didn’t look as good as they would have if they had played a long innings, won’t feel so judged in this dressing room. Both the coach and the captain have seen a lot of failures and that is the biggest advantage these boys will have in the dressing room.”

“They’ll feel rather calm and they’ll know it’s just one game… Sometimes you can feel judged and you question that ‘Am I good enough for this level?’ I think those questions won’t be the ones they’ll answer so early. It will be a very calm and easygoing dressing room,” said Dinesh Karthik.

Shreyas Iyer
Shreyas Iyer – Getty Images

Dinesh Karthik even defended Shreyas Iyer for his innings, saying he didn’t have a choice but to attack every ball, but it just didn’t come off on the day. Dinesh Karthik said that if someone needs to be blamed for the match going close, Suryakumar Yadav or Rohit Sharma should be well set for giving away their wickets.

Dinesh Karthik added: “You can’t fault Shreyas Iyer for doing it because at that stage you want boundaries. If it’s not there to be hit then you probably try and hit a cut shot, a flick shot, or a cover drive but your first instinct is to hit it for a six straight over the bowler’s head or over deep mid-wicket… If you have to go by results you can fault Surya or Rohit but if you go by process I think all of them played the right shots…”

Shreyas Iyer made a comeback to the Indian team after a long injury-forced break. Venkatesh Iyer, meanwhile, was slotted in a position – No.6 – where he hasn’t played much before. The duo is likely to get a long rope to cement their place in the team, including in the remaining two matches of the series.

Shreyas Iyer dislocated his shoulder while fielding against England in the first ODI in Pune on March 24.  He missed the half-season of IPL 2021 due to an injury in his left shoulder while playing for India in the first match of an ODI series against England. He made his comeback after a span of 6 months for Delhi Capitals in IPL 2021. In September 2021, Shreyas Iyer was named as one of three reserve players in India’s squad for the 2021 ICC T20I World Cup.

Ajay Jadeja: Rahul Dravid Best Man To Keep Things Calm

Earlier in the same interaction, Ajay Jadeja spoke on similar lines as Dinesh Karthik and remarked that international cricket is the best test of new coach Rahul Dravid’s nous. Ajay Jadeja also said that Rahul Dravid is the “best man” to keep the dressing room environment calm.

Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI
Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI

“The skill of a coach is tested at this stage, you know, how calm can you keep the dressing room, the guys going in next get the vibes… Rahul Dravid is the probably the best man around to keep things calm.”

India will look to extend their 1-0 lead on Friday in the second T20I in Ranchi.

Harshal Patel
Harshal Patel (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Dinesh Karthik, Ajay Jadeja Name Harshal Patel To Replace Mohammed Siraj For 2nd T20I

Dinesh Karthik, wicketkeeper-batter, and former cricketer Ajay Jadeja have backed Royal Challengers Banglaore uncapped pacer Harshal Patel as the suitable replacement for pacer Mohammed Siraj for the second India-New Zealand T20I.

Mohammad Siraj tore the webbing of his left hand while bowling in the last over in Jaipur on Wednesday and might miss the coming games- the next 2 T20Is at Ranchi and Kolkata.

Harshal Patel
Harshal Patel (Image Credit: Twitter)

Dinesh Karthik: It’s A Good Headache To Select One Among Harshal Patel And Avesh Khan In Place Of Mohammad Siraj

Dinesh Karthik said while both Harshal Patel and Avesh Khan are in top form, the former’s change of pace will likely come in handy in Ranchi. He, however, also said the team management might want the extra pace of Avesh Khan to add some variety to the attack, making it a “good headache” to have.

A superlative display by their top-order and controlled bowling at the back-end ensured a five-wicket victory against Black Caps, ending ‘Men in Blue’ seven-match losing streak across formats. In absence of Virat Kohli, currently on leave, Suryakumar Yadav made full use of the opportunity at number three with a match-winning 62 off 42 balls.

Dinesh Karthik said:  “Both of them are bowling at the best of their careers so far… So you can blindly play any one of them. I personally feel Harshal Patel will be better because obviously, you know, the change of pace in Ranchi [which is a] slightly slow wicket.

“Avesh Khan is very good with slower ones as well but Harshal Patel is bowling with such good rhythm that you want to give him the opportunity and see what he brings to the table.

“But another way you look at it is – you have somebody who bowls 135 in Deepak Chahar and Bhuvi. If you want someone with more pace then the option is Avesh Khan. It’s a good headache to have,” said Dinesh Karthik.

Avesh Khan has been instrumental in Delhi Capitals’ early success in IPL 2021. Image: BCCI
Avesh Khan has been instrumental in Delhi Capitals’ early success in IPL 2021. Image: BCCI

Speaking during the same video interaction, former cricketer Ajay Jadeja also agreed with Dinesh Karthik. He noted that for the specific overs, Mohammed Siraj bowled on Wednesday (4th, 11th, 15th, and 20th), Harshal Patel would be the better option.

Ajay Jadeja explained: “The way Siraj was used, probably Harshal Patel because he bowled one in the powerplay and two right at the end.

“What he has done in the IPL, the reason why he’s been picked in the side – his strength is that when the game is moving at a different pace and the batsman is trying to dominate that’s when his slower one becomes more useful. If you have to use him the same way and the others around then Harshal is the one I’ll probably go with.”

Harshal Patel was the top wicket-taker in the IPL 2021 – claiming the joint-most 32 wickets in a season for Royal Challengers Bangalore. Delhi Capital’s Avesh Khan was right behind him with 24 wickets from 16 matches. Meanwhile, as a result of Mohammed Siraj’s valiant last over and other bowlers’ contributions, India kept New Zealand down to 164-6 and chased it with two balls to spare.

Dinesh Karthik: Rahul Dravid May Give Everyone An Opportunity

Furthermore, while Dinesh Karthik remarked that while India was unlikely to make more changes for the 2nd T20I game, Rahul Dravid’s coaching style has always been about rotating and giving most squad members a chance. Dinesh Karthik said if it goes that way here too, the head coach will have the “right conversation” to make sure that the players getting a rest don’t feel insecure.

Dinesh Karthik file image. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
Dinesh Karthik file image. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Dinesh Karthik asserted: “The one thing Rahul Dravid has done fabulously well in his time as an India Under-19 and an India A coach is his ability to rotate and play the whole squad, consistently on all tours and give everybody an opportunity and that’s why we have such a large bench strength for the Indian team… and if that is anything to go by.

He’ll have the right conversations and spread the right message. One thing is giving a break but you have got to make sure that the guy is happy to get a break…”

The second match will begin at the same time in Ranchi on Friday. A loss in the 2nd T20I will mean that the Kiwis will surrender the series. On the other hand, India will look to land the knockout blow and take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match rubber.

Predicted Indian XI: KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma (C), Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (WK), Shreyas Iyer, Venkatesh Iyer, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Harshal Patel/Avesh Khan

Todd Astle leaked 34 runs in the 3 overs that he bowled, and failed to scalp a wicket in the 1st T20I. So, the Kiwis might get Ish Sodhi into their playing XI in his place. Also, James Neesham might replace Rachin Ravindra.

Predicted New Zealand XI: Martin Guptill, Daryl Mitchell, Mark Chapman, Glenn Phillips, Tim Siefert (WK), James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee (C), Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult

Head coach Brendon McCullum says KKR will make couple of changes in Mumbai (Image Courtesy: KKR Twitter)
Head coach Brendon McCullum with skipper Eoin Morgan (Image Courtesy: KKR Twitter)
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Brendon McCullum Admits His Style Of Coaching Or Leadership For KKR During IPL 2021 Was Perhaps “Wild”

Brendon McCullum, Kolkata Knight Riders head coach, has said that his coaching style during the IPL this year, initially in India and later in UAE, was “a little wild”.

After struggling in the first leg of the tournament in India, KKR made a remarkable turnaround when the event was moved to the UAE, reaching the finals to play eventual champions Chennai Super Kings, where they lost.

Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders (Image Credit: Twitter)

Brendon McCullum’s Style Of Coaching Or Leadership Was Perhaps Wild

KKR ended the season as runners-up, which was impressive, because they had won just two of their seven games in the India leg of the tournament. Eventually, CSK was the better team on the day as KKR fell short of their third IPL title.
Brendon McCullum
Brendon McCullum BCCI

Brendon McCullum played in the IPL as a player from 2008 to 2018. Brendon McCullum featured in 109 matches in the IPL and amassed 2881 runs with a strike rate of 131.61. In the opening season, Brendon McCullum’s 158 not out for the Kolkata Knight Riders is still engraved in every IPL fan.

“My style of leadership or coaching was perhaps a little wild,” Brendon McCullum said.

Shubman Gill amassed 478 runs in 17 games, while Nitish Rana amassed 383 runs and Rahul Tripathi managed 397 runs, while the likes of Eoin Morgan (133 runs) and Dinesh Karthik (223 runs) failed to deliver with the bat. Pacer Lockie Ferguson picked 13 scalps, spinners Sunil Narine picked 16, and Varun Chakravarthy picked 18 scalps- the highest by a KKR bowler. Indian pacers Shivam Mavi and Prasidh Krishna were also among the wickets.

Brendon McCullum: KKR Rocked In The Second Half Of IPL 2021

The former New Zealand captain, though, was pleased to see the comeback KKR made in the league.

“It takes a little while to really dig down and thankfully we were able to do it in the second half of the tournament and we got a bit more intent into batting and then we were able to play a bit more of an aggressive form of cricket. Thankfully it translated to results and we got on a bit of a roll.”

Venkatesh Iyer scored his maiden IPL fifty in the game vs MI.© Instagram
Venkatesh Iyer scored his maiden IPL fifty in the game vs MI.© Instagram

KKR had just two wins out of seven matches at the end of the first leg and was placed seventh. But, in the second half of the tournament in the UAE, they won five out of their remaining league matches to make the playoffs, and then, the finals.

“We rocked in the second half of the tournament, we were kind of dead and buried (after starting with two wins and five losses). We were under a fair amount of pressure with two wins from seven games and seventh on the table out of eight. The expectations on us were pretty low,” said McCullum, who won the IPL 2012 title with KKR as a player.
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) head coach Brendon McCullum was full of praise for the impact that opener Venkatesh Iyer and the rest of the Indian top-order batsmen (Rahul Tripathi, Shubman Gill, and Nitish Rana) had in the second half of the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL).
In opening the innings with Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer scored 370 runs in 10 innings and even put in handy shifts with the ball, taking three wickets in the season. In just 10 IPL 2021 games, all at UAE, the opener Venkatesh Iyer has 370 runs beside his name, averaging 41.11 with as many as 4 fifties. It was his debut IPL season, where he also picked 3 scalps averaging 23 with the ball.
Andre Russell. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)
Andre Russell. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)
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Brendon McCullum Opens Up On Andre Russell’s Unavailability For IPL 2021 Final

Brendon McCullum, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) head coach, has explained why star all-rounder Andre Russell didn’t play the much-awaited IPL 2021 final against Chennai Super Kings (CSK). Chasing a stiff target of 193 against CSK in Dubai on Friday, KKR fell short by 27 runs.

Brendon McCullum said West Indian all-rounder Andre Russell tried hard to recover from his hamstring tear but was still a ‘big risk’ to play him in the final. He explained that recovery from hamstring injuries is difficult to determine. So he said KKR decided to stick with the same team that saw them reach the finals after qualifying for playoffs thus far in the competition.

Brendon McCullum
Brendon McCullum BCCI

Brendon McCullum: Playing Andre Russell Was A Risk In The IPL 2021 Final, Which KKR Couldn’t Afford To Take

Andre Russell has been the trump card for KKR. He has scored 183 runs from 10 IPL 2021 games averaging 26.14, and also has picked 11 scalps averaging 17.09, including a career-best 5/15. However, Andre Russell has missed his sixth straight game for Kolkata ever since injuring his hamstring against CSK.

While speaking at a post-match press conference, Brendon McCullum said about Russell: “Yeah, look, Andre obviously had a hamstring tear early on in the competition. He worked unbelievably hard to try and get himself available. He was still at risk there. And I felt (if) it was a risk in a final, we just couldn’t afford to take.”

“And then we had another hamstring issue with Rahul Tripathi so, look, such is the nature of hamstrings that you are just never sure whether they are going to be fully healed or not, and it’s such a big risk. “

Andre Russell celebrates a wicket - BCCI/IPL
Andre Russell celebrates a wicket – BCCI/IPL.

Brendon McCullum added: “In the end, we decided to go for the guys who had done so well to get us into the final, and I am proud of all their achievements. It’s a shame we fell short, but we were outplayed by a very good CSK side today.”

Andre Russell strained his hamstring while fielding against CSK in a league game. He missed the subsequent few games for injury, so KKR replaced spin all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan. However, the Bangladesh all-rounder proved key in KKR’s success at the spin-friendly grounds in Sharjah and Abu Dhabi.

However, many fans vouched for Andre Russell’s return to the KKR eleven even if he was not fully fit because of the flat nature of the Dubai wicket. In hindsight, they were probably right, as Shakib Al Hasan returned figures of 0-33 (three overs) and scored a golden duck.

Brendon McCullum: Eoin Morgan Captained KKR At His Best But Wasn’t Fruitful While Scoring Runs With Bat

McCullum said in this regard: “Yeah, look, it’s a really unique situation, wasn’t it? He was really captaining out of his skin. He captained as well as I have ever seen him captain and as well as I have seen anyone really captain in a T20 competition.”

Head coach Brendon McCullum says KKR will make couple of changes in Mumbai (Image Courtesy: KKR Twitter)
Head coach Brendon McCullum with skipper Eoin Morgan (Image Courtesy: KKR Twitter)

“I thought he was driving the team forward with his captaincy, but unfortunately, the runs weren’t there for him. No matter how hard he tried, we tried to put him in that position where he’s been so successful – in those last five overs – in T20 cricket right throughout his career. But unfortunately, it wasn’t to be.”

Former New Zealand captain concluded by saying he hoped that the out-of-form batsmen Eoin Morgan and Dinesh Karthik would deliver under pressure in the final, but that wasn’t to be.

Brendon McCullum said in this regard: “There are many examples over the years of guys who have struggled for form coming into big games, (and) they have been able to find something in that situation to get that performance. And that’s what I was clinging on to tonight for both the captain and the vice-captain as well. But it wasn’t to be. Those guys played their hearts out and did their absolute best, but just weren’t able to get those performances that they would have liked…”

KKR ended the season as runners-up, which was impressive, considering the fact that they had won just two of their seven games in the India leg of the tournament. Eventually, CSK was the better team on the day as KKR fell short of their third IPL title.

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