Cardiff, June 5: With two successive centuries in warm-up games, Dinesh Karthik has sealed his place in the Playing XI for the first Champions Trophy 2013 game against South Africa, India captain MS Dhoni has confirmed.
Karthik, who has made a comeback to the Indian team after a long gap, carried his IPL form into the ODIs with two hundreds (Sri Lanka and Australia). His 146 not out against Australia helped India to a mammoth 243-run win on Tuesday (June 4).
Speaking after the victory, Dhoni said Karthik has "earned" his place for the first match against South Africa, which is on June 6.
"I think he (Karthik) has earned his place in the side and we'll just have to see who misses out when we play against South Africa. I'd like him to play at the top of the order but we'll see," Dhoni said.
Dhoni too was in fine nick, as he made 91. Dhoni and Karthik rescued the team from 55/5 with a 211-run partnership for the 6th wicket.
"To start off Dinesh batted really well. That partnership between me and him got us to a respectable score and then the bowling was up to the mark. We used five bowlers and all of them got wickets," Dhoni added.
Paceman Umesh Yadav was the bowling hero with five wickets.
"Umesh is one of the quickest bowlers we have and with the two paced pitch here, the ball was holding up, not much, but just enough which was why there were so many inside edges," Dhoni said.
"I was looking to get to the best place on the field - the non-striker's end and Karthik is a great runner between the wickets. That's something all the batsmen should work on, getting those one and a half runs into twos," Dhoni said when asked about his batting.