Swashbuckling batsman Manish Pandey has been ruled out of the Champions Trophy, with a left side strain. Pandey suffered from a side strain during a practice session ahead of the Eliminator of the IPL and thus, was notably absent from the Kolkata Knight Riders playing 11 in their crucial encounter against the Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Pandey was in good form this IPL having amassed 396 runs in 14 matches at an average of 49.50, his highest score 81 not out came against the Mumbai Indians. Pandey’s injury has come as a crucial blow not only to the Indian Cricket team but also his franchise the KKR who are set to play the Qualifier 2, on 19 May 2017 against the Mumbai Indians.
However, the selection committee has announced a replacement for Manish Pandey in the squad. Dinesh Karthik who was a part of the Indian team which won the ICC Champions Trophy 2013, and who has been in excellent form this domestic season, as well as in the IPL has been rewarded for his performances. Karthik scored 704 runs at an average of 54.15 in 2016-2017 Ranji Trophy. Karthik was a crucial member of the Tamil Nadu team who won the Vijay Hazare Trophy and the Deodhar Trophy, both being 50 over tournaments. He was also the second highest run scorer for the Gujarat Lions. Addition of Karthik also provides an additional wicket keeping option if need be.
Karthik is an experienced campaigner and his presence should help fill the void created by Pandey’s absence.
India’s updated Champions Trophy Squad : Virat Kohli (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni (wk), Yuvraj Singh, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Dinesh Karthik.