Team India for World Cup: Why Dinesh Karthik, not Rishabh Pant: MSK Prasad explains

Team India for World Cup 2019: The chairman of selectors, MSK Prasad, suggested Dinesh Karthik's wicketkeeping abilities gave him the edge over Rishabh Pant.

Dinesh Karthik's wicketkeeping skills and match-finishing abilities earned him a spot in India's squad for the ICC World Cup 2019.   -  Getty Images

The national senior selection committee chose the seasoned Dinesh Karthik over Rishabh Pant in India’s 15-member squad for the ICC World Cup 2019, which begins in England from May 30.

The chairman of the selection committee, MSK Prasad, said Karthik was preferred because of his experience and the ability to handle pressure in crunch situations.

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He also indicated that Pant’s poor show with the gloves did play a role in his omission. “You can say that… The situation that was discussed among the selection committee is that one of them (Pant or Karthik) will play in the eleven only if MS (Dhoni) is injured. Under such situation, in crunch matches, who is the best guy who can handle pressure. That is the reason which went in favour of Karthik, otherwise Pant is full of talent, there is lot of time for him,” Prasad said during a media interaction on Monday.

“It’s unfortunate that he (Pant) missed out,” he added.

Prasad agreed that the five selectors -- along with India captain Virat Kohli -- deliberated on the issue and another factor that went Karthik’s way was his ability to finish things off.

“...If it is a crucial match, like a quarterfinal, semifinal, wicketkeeping also matters. That’s the reason why we went ahead with Karthik, otherwise Pant was almost there. Under pressure, we have seen Karthik finishing matches. That scored for him,” he added.

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While Pant has so far featured in only five ODIs for India, Karthik -- an old warhorse -- has played 91 ODIs.

Karthik has been in the scheme of things for the selectors for the last couple of years, but was left out of the squad for the ODIs against Australia last month. That led to questions on whether the selectors would look beyond the Tamil Nadu wicket-keeper and bank on youngster Pant, who is a dashing batsman. But when it came to choosing the final 15, Prasad and his men, went for the experienced campaigner.