Dinesh Karthik reveals two key areas India must prioritise

Mumbai, (UNI) India wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik has identified two areas his side must focus on during the upcoming Asia Cup if they are to prosper at this year’s ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.

While India travel to the 16th edition of the Asia Cup in Pakistan and Sri Lanka later this month among the favourites to claim the title, there are still some question marks surrounding the make-up of their best side that Karthik believes they need to fix prior to the World Cup on home soil.

The India top-order looks set in stone – with skipper Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill and Virat Kohli likely to occupy the top three spots in the batting order – but Karthik is concerned by the make-up of the middle-order and just who fits in best to hold the crucial position as fourth seamer, an ICC report said.

Karthik thinks India should use their Asia Cup campaign to make sure they have these important positions nailed down prior to the start of the 50-over World Cup on October 5.

“There are two areas (India must identify at the Asia Cup),” Karthik said during a Cricket World Cup commercial shoot with Emirates.

“No.1. Who is the fourth medium pacer. We have Jasprit (Bumrah), we have (Mohammad) Shami and we have (Mohammad) Siraj. We are sure about all of these three, but who is going to be the fourth?

“Is it going to be Shardul Thakur? Is it going to be Prasidh Krishna? Mukesh Kumar? Or are you going to go for the pace of Umran Malik?” he asked.

Karthik posed more questions when contemplating the likely personnel that will slot into the middle-order.

“Do we need a left hander? Do we look at Tilak Varma or is Suryakumar (Yadav) that option as he plays all the sweeps that are available in the game, makes it hard for spinners and is a very good player of spin as well,” Karthik added.

“So who is the back-up batter. That is the next question.

“These are the two areas for me and I think these are the two big things India must be answering during this Asia Cup.”

India’s Asia Cup campaign commences against arch-rival Pakistan in Kandy on September 2, with their second group match coming two days later against Nepal at the same venue.

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