Dinesh Karthik Was Picked For Very Specific Skill: Head Coach Dravid

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Mumbai: India head coach Rahul Dravid said Dinesh Karthik was picked for “specific skill” against South Africa. Dravid’s statement came after the fifth and final T20I between India and South Africa at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru was abandoned due to rain.

With this, the series remains at 2-2 level and will be shared by both sides. Karthik scored 55 runs in 27 balls against South Africa in the fourth T20 match played in Rajkot. His knock helped Team India reach a defendable score of 169.

“He was picked for a very specific skill. And it’s good when indicated in a way that it came together brilliantly for us in the Rajkot game where we needed that big performance in the last five overs to be able to make a par score. He and Hardik [Pandya] batted beautifully for us; both of them are our enforcers at the end, guys who can capitalise on those last five-six overs,” said Dravid after the fifth T20I got abandoned.

“They are probably two of the best players in the world in the last five-six overs. So, yeah, it was really nice to see Karthik come down and do what he has to do. It certainly opens up a lot more options for us going forward. Innings like that certainly make you start. Like I was telling the guys it’s not about knocking the door – you have to start banging the door down, and an innings like that certainly means he is knocking very hard,” he added.

Notably, in the fourth match of the series, India beat the Proteas by 82 runs to level the series. Opting to bat first, India posted 169/6 in their 20 overs, largely driven by the efforts of Dinesh Karthik (55) and vice-captain Hardik Pandya (46).

In reply, South Africa were bundled out for just 87 runs. Avesh Khan was the star of the Men in Blue with 4/18 balls. India will now play against Ireland for a two-match T20I series in Dublin on June 26 and 28.

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