Skipper Kumble backs under-fire Karthik

Published: Monday, November 26, 2007, 3:35 [IST]
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New Delhi: Dinesh Karthik failed with the bat in the first Test against Pakistan, but he got the backing of his captain Anil Kumble, setting at rest the speculation that the Tamil Nadu batsman could be axed for the next Test at Kolkata.

Karthik made nine and one in the first and second innings respectively and there has been speculation that Yuvraj Singh, who was in great form in the ODIs against Pakistan, could get his place.

''It is unfair to get the boot after failing in just two innings. He was the top scorer in the England series,'' Kumble told reporters after India's six-wicket victory over Pakistan.

''He has a crucial role as a fielder and important member of the side. He had a great catch yesterday and affected a crucial run out also in Pakistan's first innings,'' the Indian captain said.

Karthik made a well-judged catch running from mid-on to long-on to dismiss well-set Misbah-ul-Haq off the bowling of Sourav Ganguly for 45 to trigger a batting collapse in the visitors' second innings.

In the first innings also, he ran out Misbah for 82 to break the 87-run ninth wicket partnership which frustrated the hosts by defying the Indian attack for 41 overs.

Karthik had scored 263 runs in the three-Test series (away) against England in July-August.



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