‘World Cup Khelna Hai..’: Skipper Rohit Sharma Witnesses Intense Battle of Wicketkeepers for T20 World Cup – News18

The battle between Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore ended with the hosts grabbing the crucial two points to move up in the table. But another mini-battle was going on within the game, a battle for a spot in the upcoming T20 World Cup.

And the place in debate here was a crucial one as it is the wicket-keeper spot in the Indian team. The MI vs RCB fixture saw two possible contenders play impressive innings for their respective teams. Initially, veteran Dinesh Karthik put on a show towards the end of the innings. He fired 53 runs in just 23 balls including 5 fours and 4 sixes. The highlight of his knock was 4 fours he hit against Akash Madhwal.

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This was not the first time he was putting on a show in the IPL. He had a stellar 2022 season for RCB, playing the role of a finisher for the team. Karthik made 330 runs in 16 matches at an average of 55 and an explosive strike-rate of 183.33.

His heroics in the IPL earned him a spot in the T20 World Cup squad. Interestingly, Karthik has found himself in the same place again. There is a T20 World Cup right after this IPL season with too many keepers pushing their cases. Karthik, with these performances, has also put his name in the hat.

‘World Cup Khelna Hai’

While Karthik was showing his finishing prowess, Rohit Sharma, who is famous for his stump mic chatter, was fielding right behind him at the slips. The India captain saw this as an opportunity to have a fun banter with the senior wicketkeeper-batter.

World Cup ke selection ke liye push karna hai isko, shabash. Dimag mein chal raha hai iske World Cup. Shabash DK, World Cup khelna hai,” Rohit was heard saying on the stump mic.

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But there was another interesting angle to that banter. Another wicketkeeper prospect for the WC was standing right behind the wicket when those words were being said.

Directly or indirectly, Rohit Sharma had egged on Ishan Kishan to make his case stronger for the T20 World Cup.

‘The Ishan Kishan Show’

Whether it was those words said to Karthik by Rohit or something else, no one knows but what everybody saw was a scintillating show of brutal power hitting by Ishan Kishan.

Kishan batter took charge from the first over itself and gave an explosive start to the home team. He raced to a 23-ball fifty before falling prey to Akash Deep in the 9th over. Those 23 balls that Kishan played were filled with some impressive long-range shots. After every boundary, Kishan walked up to his partner on the other end and gave him a fist bump as if telling him that there was a better contender for the World Cup spot.

But is the World Cup playing in Ishan’s mind? The youngster denies it.

“About the World Cup, it is not in my hands and I am taking things very easy right now,” Ishan told the media after the match.

“You have to take one match at a time. One needs to understand that a lot is not in the hands of the players,” said Kishan.

“It’s (IPL) a very big tournament and you do not want to overstep. I am just taking one game at a time and however I can help the team, let’s do it,” he added.

Ishan Kishan has been in the news since the year began. The southpaw took a break from cricket during the South Africa series in December last year. Since then he has been away from the limelight, missing the Ranji Trophy games which irked some important people. His name from dropped from the central contract along with Shreyas Iyer.

But where was he during those three months?

“I was practicing,” Ishan said.

“When I took time off from the game, people were talking a lot. Many things came on social media. But you should also realize that many things are not in the hands of the players,” the youngster added.

Ishan further mentioned how that break helped him grow as a cricketer and made him a better team player.

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“The only thing you can do is utilise the time properly. Also, the mindset to think about the previous Ishan Kishan, I would never leave a delivery in the first two overs even if they are bowling well. With time I have learnt that even 20 overs is a big game, you can take your time and you can go ahead. Even though we have lost matches, we want to work together as a team,” Ishan said.

“Changes have come like even if I am not performing and if I know someone else is not performing, I talk to them. I want to know what they are thinking. So these are things which helped me in the break,” he further added.

We will have to wait and see if his good form and the newly learned aspects of the game help him in getting a spot in the upcoming World Cup or not. The one thing that goes against the youngster is that he opens for the MI and that position isn’t vacant in the Indian team.

Dinesh Karthik plays in the middle order as a finisher and his playing the way he is currently can give him an outside chance to feature in his second consecutive T20 World Cup. The other two contenders for the same wicketkeeper spot, who are also doing good for their respective IPL teams are Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson. This competition will surely intensify in the coming games and hopefully, we will have the answer soon.