Experimenting with different players and in different positions and roles has defined India’s T20I journey over the past 10 months. Since their forgettable 2021 T20 World Cup ouster in the UAE in October last year in the UAE, India has played countless auditions – recalling a few and bringing in a few new faces – in an effort to find their perfect combination for the T20 World Cup later. found this year. But not many people thought Dinesh Karthik would be one of those experiments, not with the bat, but with the ball, a decision that amused his teammates during the 2022 Asia Cup game against Afghanistan before Rishabh Pant made an epic comment.
With Afghanistan at 93 for eight en route to the last left of their chase of 213 at the Dubai International Stadium in their Super 4 draw against India, stand-in skipper KL Rahul handed the last over to Karthik. The veteran cricketer has never bowled in international cricket or the Indian Premier League before, although he did roll his arms back into domestic cricket after only throwing once.
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India had nothing to fear in the final and so Karthik was brought on the attack and the off-spinner was crushed for 18 runs by Afghanistan’s Ibrahim Zadran, including back-to-back sixes. After the penultimate ball, where Zadran praised the flying delivery for extra cover for two runs, Pant poked fun at Karthik, who was caught on a stomp mic and said: “DK bhai, sab control mein hai”.
India went on to win by 101 runs as they ended their rather forgettable campaign with a much needed victory.
The Men in Blue, under Rohit Sharma, were the overwhelming favorites to win consecutive titles without a single defeat. With wins against Pakistan and Hong Kong, India progressed comfortably into the Super 4 stage but was stunned by Babar Azam’s men and a rejuvenated Sri Lanka team, leading to their Asian Cup ouster.