India and West Indies took on each other in the opening T20I encounter at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Without MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma-led side had two debutants in Khaleel Ahmed and Krunal Pandya with Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik both making the cut in the playing XI. However, in a rather surprising move, Karthik was preferred over Pant to keep wickets which left the fans baffled.
Twitter was left surprised as Karthik donned the gloves in the first T20I between India and West Indies at the Eden Gardens. Dhoni was left out of the T20I squad to make way for Pant and Karthik as the selectors wanted to look for a second wicket-keeping option. In the recently-concluded ODI series, Pant was seen fielding while Dhoni kept the wickets but the youngster was expected to keep in the T20I series.
Earlier, on Saturday BCCI had announced the 12-man squad for the first T20I and Pant was named the wicket-keeper but despite the confirmation, Karthik took charge behind the stumps. While it might be a case of a last minute change, Twitter, however, was not happy with the move.
— BCCI (@BCCI) November 3, 2018
Here’s how Twitter reacted to Dinesh Karthik keeping wickets over Rishabh Pant:
Although it was Rishabh Pant who was named as keeper for the T20I, it’s Dinesh Karthik who has walked out with the gloves on. Interesting from India. #INDvWI
— Sreshth Shah (@sreshthx) November 4, 2018
— Frustrated Salesman (@salesdiaries) November 4, 2018
By dropping MSD, Indian management investing on Dinesh karthik. Illogical and stupid stuff. #INDvWI
— Akshay Kudyar (@akshay_kudyar) November 4, 2018
— harshil (@chokshi28) November 4, 2018
#bcci #INDvWI If the team needs a younger wicketkeeper then why they are giving this chance to a player Dinesh Karthik who is only two years younger than Dhoni. What is this?They can give this opportunity to Rishabh Pant. Is this only for throw Dhoni out of T20?@imVkohli @ImRo45
— Vishal Mishra (@VishalM37889612) November 4, 2018
— Misal Raj 🇮🇳 (@MisalRaj_) November 4, 2018
Indian bowlers bowled well to contain a star-studded Windies batting line-up from firing. Kuldeep Yadav led the show with the ball as he picked up three wickets for 13 runs in his four overs. Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Krunal Yadav and Khaleel Ahmed too picked up a solitary wicket each to restrict Windies on a below-par total of 109 runs. None of the Windies batsmen could manage to put up a fight against a solid Indian bowling attack.
In reply, India too got off to a shaky start with Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan getting dismissed cheaply. However, Karthik (31) and Pandya (21) helped India secure a 5-wicket win.