“Other High-Stature Players Have Also Failed, But We Don’t Talk About Them”: Harbhajan Singh Tells Dinesh Karthik’s Critics

Written by Sumit Seth

Team India is flying high at the top of Group 2 standings in the Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia but not everything has gone as planned.

The team clinched a couple of nervy wins over Pakistan and Bangladesh to be in a solid position to qualify for the semi-finals. Over the course of the four group matches so far, Dinesh Karthik has faced constant criticism for his failures as a finisher. But, former India cricketer Harbhajan Singh feels the wicket-keeper batter should continue to be persisted with.

With a player of the calibre of Rishabh Pant waiting on the bench, Karthik’s place in the team has been questioned by many. A few former cricketers and pundits have even called for Karthik to be replaced by Pant but Bhajji isn’t in sync with the idea.

In a chat on Sports Tak, Harbhajan said that, unlike Karthik, Pant isn’t a finisher and can’t play the same role or position that the veteran wicket-keeper batter has been allotted. Having seen Karthik deliver the goods in the Indian Premier League and for India in the past few months, Bhajji wants him to be given more time.

“When Karthik was injured, I said that we should bring back Pant. But if he’s fit, Karthik should be preferred because you got him in the team as a finisher. You can’t play Pant in that position,” Harbhajan opined.

“There are other players who have failed too. But their stature is high, hence we don’t talk about them. Dinesh Karthik’s batting position is a difficult one. Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni have batted there brilliantly; after them, only Hardik Pandya has shown the ability to play the finisher’s role. Now we have Karthik too and we should give him a chance,” he said.

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Sumit Seth