With Virat Kohli being rested in T20Is recently, the No 3 batting responsibility has fallen on the shoulders of Rahul Tripathi who made his debut against Sri Lanka in January this year at Pune. While he has only got 97 runs in five matches, those runs came at a strike rate of 145 and Dinesh Karthik feels that Rahul Tripathi should be India’s No 3 batter in T20Is if Kohli remains unavailable as the batter has played selflessly so far, going for quick runs to help the team rather than looking to score big with the help of a steady innings.
“Whatever I’m going to say now, I don’t think it’s for Rahul Tripathi, it’s for all cricket fans, who follow Indian cricket very closely. Please don’t have temporary amnesia in the near future, because the names replacing him will be big. And then we might go and look at the score and say he just scored a 40 or a 30,” Karthik said on Cricbuzz.
“Lets be aware of the situation, the intent and the context every time he has walked in. Selflessly, knowing probably his career was on the line but still taking the aggressive option, still taking the big shot option, high risk option. Trusting to do that because his team needs him to do that in a must-win game.”
Karthik further added: “I think we shouldn’t forget that in 3 months time, 6 months time. Maybe he’ll have a good IPL, maybe he won’t but he deserves that Indian team number 3 spot whenever that comes. If Virat Kohli chooses to play okay but if Virat Kohli is not around he should be the first choice, not someone who has done well somewhere else.
“When his career was on the line, he did a fabulous job in the last game against Sri Lanka and this game. He’s not someone, who’s gonna get many chances, still he went out with that aggression, took high risk options and did exactly what the captain and the coach wanted.”
Karthik’s best innings came in the last T20I against New Zealand which was played on 1 February. Despite not having big scores in his first four matches, Tripathi once again went for the big shots and smashed 44 off 22 balls and India scored 234/4 with Shubman Gill scoring a century. India eventually won the match by 168 runs.
Karthik, who played with the batter at Indian Premier League side Kolkata Knight Riders, also spoke about Tripathi’s batting mentality.
“The beauty about him is that’s his DNA. To go out there and irrespective of how big the situation is, how big the game is, these are the kind of players you’ll need because in the big matches he’ll exactly do that,” Karthik said.
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