The Indian cricket team will play a five-match T20 series against South Africa without its star players from June 9. The first match of the series will be played at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi on Thursday. Senior players like captain Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami have been rested for this series. At the same time, KL Rahul will be seen captaining Teak. 37-year-old veteran wicket-keeper batsman Dinesh Karthik is the oldest player in the current Indian T20 team and could prove to be the ‘X factor’ for the team in the upcoming series. After playing the role of finisher for Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2022, he is now ready to take up this responsibility in Team India as well.
The only player in India’s first T20 International match in the current team
Karthik is the most experienced player in KL Rahul’s current team. Not only this, he is the only cricketer in this series, who played the first T20 International for India 16 years ago. The Indian team started the shortest format of cricket on 1 December 2006 against South Africa in Johannesburg. Karthik played an unbeaten innings of 31 runs in this match and he became the man of the match in India’s first T20 International match. Karthik, who returned to Team India after three years, will play against South Africa for the first time on home soil. He played his last T20 match against Australia in February 2019.
Best performance award in IPL 2022
Karthik has received the award for the best performance in IPL 2022. He has emerged as the new finisher for the team. Karthik was instrumental in taking Royal Challengers Bangalore to the playoffs. He scored 330 runs in 16 matches at an average of 55 and a strike rate of 183.33. Karthik would now like to continue this performance in the South Africa series as well. Karthik has so far scored 399 runs in T20 cricket at an average of 33.25 in 32 matches. He has also taken 14 catches behind the wicket and has also done five stumpings.
The members of the current team against South Africa are Rishabh Pant with 23 runs in two matches, Shreyas Iyer 21 runs in two matches, Hardik Pandya 48 runs in 5 matches and Karthik 60 runs in 4 matches. The same Yuzvendra Chahal has taken 22 wickets in 10 matches, Axar Patel has taken one wicket in 3 matches and Bhuvneshwar Kumar has taken eight wickets in 6 matches.