After being selected in place of an injured Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik repaid the faith of the selectors by scoring by smashing a well-made 94 off 77 balls against Bangladesh in the second warm-up match at the Oval. Karthik played a key role in the Indian middle order when he came into bat after the wicket of Ajinkya Rahane. India was reeling at 21/2 but then Karthik came in and struck a few boundaries to relieve the pressure from Shikhar Dhawan. Together they forged a partnership of 100 which steadied the ship for India. On the score of 94, Dinesh Karthik returned to the pavilion, retired hurt.
Incidentally, in the warm-up matches during the previous edition of the Champions Trophy, Karthik had slammed two hundreds.
It may be recalled here that Dinesh Karthik was initially overlooked for the Champions Trophy but got the nod later due to an injury to Manish Pandey. But it was his performances in the domestic season – especially in Deodhar Trophy and Vijay Hazare Trophy that prompted selectors to go ahead with him. He has always been a consistent player and has also improved his shot selection and also looks keen to stay until the end.
When the tournament begins Karthik might play a part in the Indian team with Yuvraj Singh suffering a bout of illness. So he might get a look in. If that happens then MS Dhoni might bat higher up the order and Karthik might be given the role of playing as a finisher. That is something he is accustomed to and did so in the IPL with Gujarat Lions a couple of times.