Team India are without many of their mainstay players for the ongoing New Zealand series, notably Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli. But India have begun their preparation for the ODI World Cup slated to take place in India in 2023. Shikhar Dhawan and Shubman Gill are the openers for the series, but India selectors will have a tough job at hand to pick between the four for the World Cup squad next year. Senior India cricketer Dinesh Karthik, however, went a step ahead and named the player who is a definite starter among the four.

Speaking to Cricbuzz, Karthik backed Dhawan as to definitely be part of the XI for the ODI World Cup. He scored a half-century in the first ODI and was involved in a key 124-run stand alongside Gill, albeit in a losing cause and India were defeated by seven wickets.

“I think so. From the kind of vibe I get, he is definitely a starter for the World Cup. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be having him around. He is on the other side of his 30s and they could have easily moved on from him. Just the fact that they have him shows that they are very keen about having him in the ODI team,” Karthik said.

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The veteran cricketer backed the left-handed batter for his excellent record in ICC events where he has scored 2605 runs in 58 matches with eight centuries.

“He has been a gun player in ICC tournaments, somebody who rises to the occasion and he plays at a fair clip consistently. Even in the 2019 World Cup, he really did well before getting injured. So, he is somebody you can bank on unless something drastically changes in terms of his form completely falling off,” he stated.

“He is somebody you can trust as an opener as he knows his game plan. He uses the crease really well, he has got everything to play for, and most importantly, it would be another chance for him to lead a team before the IPL and that is something he will be looking forward to,” Karthik added.

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