KKR’s Dinesh Karthik spoke about the availability of overseas players for the rest of the IPL season and confirmed that Pat Cummins has already told him that he will not be taking part in the tournament. Karthik also said that he is ready to take over as captain should Morgan be unavailable.
Amidst the second wave of Covid-19 wreaking havoc in the country, the BCCI successfully managed to host one month of IPL 2021 without encountering roadblocks, but a Covid outbreak in the second month led to the tournament getting suspended. But despite the BCCI confirming last week that the season will be completed in the UAE, in September, there are concerns over the availability of overseas players.
The rescheduled dates of IPL are set to clash with bilateral series’ and thus countries will be unlikely to release players to play a franchise competition one month prior to the World T20. Last week, reports emerged claiming that Pat Cummins would take no part in the competition, and now his teammate at KKR, Dinesh Karthik, has confirmed the same.
In an interview with TOI, Karthik confirmed that Cummins had already informed him of his unavailability, but said that things could potentially change in three months’ time. The availability of skipper Eoin Morgan is also unclear, but Karthik insisted that he’ll be ready to lead the side if the need arises.
“Cummins has said he is not coming but there’s still three months and Morgan may still be available. But if I am asked to lead, I don’t have a problem,” Karthik told TOI.
From a personal standpoint, Karthik has been disappointing in the IPL since the start of last season. In IPL 2020, 14.08 was all he averaged and this season despite improving on those numbers, the veteran has failed to create the impact that he effortlessly did three seasons ago. But despite not setting the stage on fire, the 36-year-old has not given up hopes of an Indian comeback. Karthik last played for India in T20Is in 2019, but the wicket-keeper batsman is confident that he can get back into the Indian set-up by impressing in the IPL.
“My entire focus is on a comeback to the India fold in the T20 format. India need a batsman in the middle-order who can be a finisher in T20s and I believe I am perfectly cut out for it,” Karthik said.
The IPL aside, all focus is currently on the World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand next month but despite the Kiwis getting ample warm-up, Karthik feels that lack of match-practice won’t hurt Kohli & Co. Karthik, who was a part of the Indian side that won a Test series in England in 2007, opined that team India have a very good chance of lifting the trophy should the batting click.
“New Zealand are playing two Test matches before against England, but I don’t think that will make any difference to India’s chances. It’s a superb side and if the batting clicks and partnerships happen, they have a very good chance,” the 36-year-old opined.