When the Indian selectors named the World Cup squad, there were eyebrows raised when Dinesh Karthik was picked as India's secondary wicket-keeper ahead of Rishabh Pant. Chief selector MSK Prasad said that they had opted for Karthik since he was a better wicket-keeper.
However, even as the IPL drew to a close, while Pant took the stage by fire, Karthik's season was not as prolific. Now, captain Virat Kohli has finally spoken on the issue and as per the skipper, Karthik's experience and his ability to stay calm and in control of things in pressure scenarios bolstered his case.
Experience matters in pressure situations
"In pressure situations, he's shown composure, It was something that everybody on board was convinced about," Kohli was as quoted by Times of India newspaper.
The skipper also said that if there is an injury concern with MS Dhoni, Karthik can be an apt replacement, both as a finisher and as a solid option as a wicket-keeper.
"He has the experience. If, god forbid, something happens to MS (Dhoni), Karthik can be immensely valuable behind the wickets. As a finisher, he's done well," he further added.
The captain also said that the competition was so intense in this Indian squad, that players had to miss out and like coach Shastri said, his heart goes out to the players who could make the cut.
"Picking 15 from an immensely talented pool is never easy. I'd say to these guys: Keep going the way you have. Be prepared, in case there's an unforeseen requirement that pops up," Shastri said about the squad.
The bowling attack
There is this feeling that this Indian side has perhaps the most-balanced and rounded bowling attack and the form of the fast bowlers give them an added edge in the competition.
"The one common factor binding these guys is confidence. There's no set rule for anything - like Indian spinners have to be the best in the world, the best batsmen or whatever. The thing is, if you believe it, you can achieve it," Kohli said.
The opening combination
Ravi Shastri also said that in the current context, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan are not just the best combinations for India, they are perhaps the best pair at the top of the order in the entire world and this makes a huge difference to the side.