Karthik overlooks Assam’s performance, suggests separate group for NE teams
Team India wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik

Guwahati: Hours after Tamil Nadu’s Narayan Jagadeesan smashed a world record 277 to power the five-time winners to a one-sided 435-run victory over a relatively weaker Arunachal Pradesh in their Vijay Hazare league encounter in Bengaluru on Monday, Team India wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik pointed fingers at the inclusion of the North East teams in the “Elite Group”.

While Karthik seemed to have completely overlooked the fact that Assam is currently placed second in the Elite Group B table after winning five of their six games so far, the Tamil Nadu stumper went on to advocate pooling together teams from the region in a separate group rather than allowing them to play in the various Elite groups alongside the domestic cricket powerhouses.

The 37-year-old Karthik, whose international career is hanging by a thread after a below-par T20 World Cup, went on to explain that such a mismatch impacts the run rate of these teams.

“Does it make sense to have the northeast teams play the elite teams in the league phase? It just topples the run rates of teams and imagines if a match against one of these teams gets rained off! Can’t they have a separate group and then qualify?” read Karthik’s tweet.

Karthik might be wrong in painting all the NE teams with the same brush, but the veteran stumper’s point holds water as most of the region’s sides have struggled against quality oppositions, and are often found languishing at the bottom of the tables.

For example, on Monday, barring Assam, all the other NE sides suffered crushing defeats. Along with Arunachal’s gargantuan loss in Bengaluru, Nagaland lost to Madhya Pradesh by 321 runs, Meghalaya went down to Rajasthan by 296 runs while Mizoram fell to Maharashtra by 183 runs.

Back at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Arunachal succumbed to 71 all out in their chase of 506, thanks to a five-wicket haul from M Sidharth, and a couple of scalps each from Ragupathy Silambarasan and M Mohammed. 

Also Read | Unwanted record for Arunachal cricket team!

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