Every game that passes only heightens the drama and intrigue around the Dinesh Karthik situation. It is clear that the team management has shaped Karthik to be India’s finisher for the T20 World Cup, but at times, how it has managed him in regards to his place in the starting XI has been pretty puzzling. For instance, Karthik was held back during the first Twenty20 International between India and Australia in Mohali, forcing Axar Patel to bat first.

Karthik’s momentum was also lost as he passed away after hitting six runs off of five balls while Axar failed to get going. The choice to keep Axar for the last few overs and advance him ahead of Karthik received a lot of criticism from former cricket stars. One of those who have questioned the move is former Australia opener, Matthew Hayden. He was rather taken aback and questioned Karthik’s position on the team.

“I was just thinking about Dinesh’s contribution. I’m at a loss as to why Dinesh wouldn’t be in their lineup right now given the role he’s playing. It makes no sense to me at all. See. I don’t want to seem like I’m criticizing Dinesh Karthik, but the opposite is true: he needs to bat more.” Hayden remarked on-air.

Just after Hayden said it live on television, Axar smashed a straight drive off Cameron Green. But that wasn’t enough to persuade Hayden to change his decision. Despite Axar’s recent outstanding performance with the bat, the renowned Australian batsman maintained his position that Karthik should get more playing time.