IPL 2019: Jacques Kallis backs Dinesh Karthik for Cricket World Cup 2019

The Kolkata Knight Riders head coach says Karthik “knows his game pretty well” and has an “all-round view of the game.”

Dinesh Karthik, the Knight Riders captain, was part of India’s ODI squad that defeated Australia and New Zealand in their respective countries earlier this year.   -  G. P. Sampath Kumar

Kolkata Knight Riders head coach Jacques Kallis believes Dinesh Karthik has the credentials to make it to the India squad for the Cricket World Cup 2019.

Karthik, the Knight Riders captain, had been a regular in the One-Day International (ODI) side until the management started testing the all-round options in Vijay Shankar. Looking at the future, youngster Rishabh Pant — also a top act with the bat — has always stood ahead in the race.

“He [Karthik] is a very experienced player and he knows his game pretty well. He has got us out of many [tricky] situations in the past. He has an all-round view of the game, which can also help the youngsters. It gives you an edge. He will certainly be in my team,” Kallis told Sportstar via telephone on Thursday.

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Being a middle-order batsman, throwing Karthik into the mix would also reopen the No. 4 debate, especially when Ambati Rayudu is slightly sluggish. Karthik was part of the victorious ODI squad that beat Australia and New Zealand, in their respective countries, in January and February.

Proteas form

In IPL 2019, South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis has been striking the ball well for Chennai Super Kings; Imran Tahir is among wickets — nine in seven games. So is pacer Kagiso Rabada — 11 wickets in six games — for Delhi Capitals.

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Kallis feels the form gained from the IPL could help his countrymen do something special in the World Cup that starts from May 30 in the U.K. “It is good that the international players are getting some form which they can carry till the World Cup. It is nice to see them do well. They can play the World Cup with more confidence,” said Kallis, a five-time World Cup participant for the Proteas.

IPL season

Despite the poor show against Super Kings on a below par Chepauk wicket in Chennai, Kallis is satisfied with the performance of Knight Riders — four wins out of six games. “It has been a great start. The away games have been good. Now I hope the run at home helps the boys as well. The wicket in Chennai was a bit slow. It is a game and at the level where we play, we can’t blame it on the wicket,” he said.

Kallis also praised big man Andre Russell for his herculean deeds in the season so far. “He is playing his best game. He is hungry to do well.”