‘He should be the first choice’: Dinesh Karthik picks Virat Kohli’s ideal replacement in T20Is


Team India recently clinched the T20I series against New Zealand 2-1 after defeating the tourists in the deciding third and final game at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Wednesday. All-rounder Hardik Pandya led the Men in Blue as star players Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma were given a rest from the T20I leg.

Notably, India head coach Rahul Dravid had mentioned that Kohli and Rohit would take a break from T20Is since Test matches and ODIs are a priority for the seniors as the prime focus is towards World Test Championship and the ODI World Cup. Since the duo hasn’t played in the shortest format since the T20 World Cup 2022, the fans have started looking at their replacements for T20Is.

Veteran wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik too joined the debate and picked one player as a potential replacement for Kohli at number three. The Tamil Nadu cricketer went with India’s new batting sensation Rahul Tripathi, terming Tripathi as the most deserving candidate at No. 3 if Kohli is not around.

“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,” said Karthik while speaking at Cricbuzz.

Tripathi had an impressive outing in the third T20I against the Black Caps, where he smashed a quickfire knock of 44 runs from 22 balls with the help of 4 fours and three sixes.

“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,” added Karthik.

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