New Delhi: Rishabh Pant’s absence from India’s Playing XI in the two matches of the T20 World Cup is one that has been heavily debated. Against Pakistan and then South Africa, India went in with Dinesh Karthik as their wicketkeeper-batsman, with Pant getting benched.
Dinesh Karthik troubled with injury
India’s injury concerns continue to mount with veteran wicketkeeper-batsman and the oldest member of the squad for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022, Dinesh Karthik, the latest to be hit by fitness trouble. After the 15th over of a Super 12 clash with South Africa in Perth on Sunday, Karthik walked off the field with his one hand on his back as he appeared in some pain and was replaced by Rishabh Pant for the rest of the match.
Karthik was seen down on his knee, touching his back which prompted the team physio to rush to the middle before the two left the field. Pant took charge of the wicketkeeping duties as South Africa went on to win by five wickets to take the top spot on the Group 2 points table.
Later when India pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar was asked about the extent of Karthik’s injury, he said it will be clear once the physio gives the report.
Bhuvneshwar said during the post-match media interaction, “I know he had some back issue. Obviously, the physio will give a report and we will have more clarity after that.”
India may drop Dinesh Karthik in next games
India next faces Bangladesh on Wednesday in Adelaide leaving Karthik with just two days to get back to full fitness. However, it’s possible the wicketkeeper was suffering from back spasms considering the cold weather the players had to deal with in Perth.
The 37-year-old hasn’t had a good outing with the bat so far managing to score just 1 against Pakistan and then struggling on the pacy track of Perth where he struggled to 6 off 15.
It is likely that Karthik might be replaced by Pant who is yet to get a game in the ongoing tournament.
India lost against South Africa by 5 wickets
India struggled to 133/9 after Lungi Ngidi blew away their top order with an amazing spell after Rohit Sharma opted to bat first. Suryakumar Yadav top-scored 66 with Rohit’s 15 the next-best score from the Indian innings.
South Africa overhauled the target in 19.4 overs, riding on half-centuries from David Miller and Aiden Markram.