ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Skipper Virat Kohli defends picking Dinesh Karthik over Rishabh Pant for mega event

Since making his debut in 2018, Pant has impressed with his batting, including a maiden Test century in England. Pant scored 488 runs from 16 matches in the just-finished Indian Premier League, while Karthik made 253 runs from 14 games.

Agence France-Presse, May 15, 2019 16:06:15 IST

India picked veteran Dinesh Karthik over rising talent Rishabh Pant for the World Cup because of his composure under pressure, captain Virat Kohli said on Wednesday.

The selection of the 33-year-old Karthik in the 15-member squad was sharply criticised by some former cricketers who felt the 21-year-old Pant should have been given a chance.

File image of Rishabh Pant. AP

File image of Rishabh Pant. AP

Since making his debut in 2018, Pant has impressed with his batting, including a maiden Test century in England.

He scored 488 runs from 16 matches in the just-finished Indian Premier League, while Karthik made 253 runs from 14 games.

Both players are vying for the reserve wicketkeeper slot behind former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

"In pressure situations, he (Karthik) has shown composure. It was something that everybody on board was convinced about. He has the experience," Kohli told the Times of India newspaper.

"If, God forbid, something happens to MS (Dhoni), Karthik can be immensely valuable behind the wickets. As a finisher, he's done well.

"So, it was the overall exposure to a tournament of this magnitude that was taken into primary consideration," said Kohli.

After making his debut in 2004, Karthik has played 91 one-day internationals while Pant has five to his name.

Kohli, who will be leading India for the first time at the World Cup, said he was not bothered about the constant attention he gets as a batsman and captain.

"I don't want to be the centre of everything. Nobody wants that. But when your intent is to make the team win, eventually you end up doing things which are always going to be seen," said Kohli, the world's number one Test and one-day player.

"I would always put my body on the line for the team."

India are chasing their third World Cup after wins in 1983 and 2011.

Updated Date: May 15, 2019 16:06:15 IST


IPL 2019 POINTS TABLE

Pos. Team P W L D Pts.
1
Mumbai
14 9 5 0 18
2
Chennai
14 9 5 0 18
3
Delhi
14 9 5 0 18
4
Hyderabad
14 6 8 0 12
5
Kolkata
14 6 8 0 12
6
Punjab
14 6 8 0 12
7
Rajasthan
14 5 8 0 11
8
Bangalore
14 5 8 0 11
See Full Table





Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
6 Sri Lanka 3462 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 5083 124
2 India 5669 121
3 South Africa 4488 115
4 New Zealand 3729 113
5 Australia 4342 109
6 Pakistan 3698 95
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
6 New Zealand 4056 254