India play with 4 keepers

Birmingham: A poor run of form for Kedar Jadhav saw the Indian team management bring in the experienced Dinesh Karthik as the additional batsman in the middle-order in the game against Bangladesh at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground on Tuesday. The move also saw the team feature fourth wicketkeepers in the playing XI. While Rishabh Pant (Test keeper) had already been drafted into the squad for the England game after Vijay Shankar was ruled out with a toe injury, opener K.L Rahul is known to keep wickets in the Indian Premier League for Kings XI Punjab. Not to forget the man himself, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, and Tamil Nadu wicketkeeper-batsman Karthik.

This is indeed a first of sorts as the England outfit plays both Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler regularly. But four keepers in the playing XI (three as pure batsmen) has to be something that the Indian selectors didn't think of when they announced the squad in Mumbai before the World Cup. In fact, addressing the media after the announcement of the 15-member squad, chief selector M.S.K. Prasad had said that Karthik had pipped Rishabh Pant only because the former was picked as a second wicketkeeper in case Dhoni got injured.

"The second wicketkeeper comes into play only if Mahi (M.S. Dhoni) is injured. We went ahead with Karthik because of his experience in big matches," Prasad had said. But as luck would have it, he replaced an out of form Kedar on Tuesday. Similarly, when it comes to Pant, he was flown in only because Shikhar Dhawan was ruled out of the World Cup with a fractured thumb. It was a case of Pant the batsman being called up to replace the injured opener. As for Rahul, he had told IANS before the World Cup that his role as keeper was mostly an effort to maintain team balance and not one that he enjoyed much. But as India head into the business end of the World Cup, this could very well be the line-up that will take the field from here on.

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