© BCCI

Dinesh Karthik replaces injured Manish Pandey and edged out Suresh Raina to be in the squad for Champions Trophy in England. © BCCI

Dinesh Karthik, the wicketkeeper-batsman, has been recalled to India’s Champions Trophy squad as a replacement for the injured Manish Pandey.

Pandey was ruled out with a left side strain, the Board of Control for Cricket in India said in a statement on Thursday (May 18). He was hurt during a practice session with Kolkata Knight Riders and missed their seven-wicket win in the Eliminator against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Bangalore on Wednesday.

Karthik, 31, who had an excellent domestic season, had been identified by the selectors as one of the stand-by options, and edged out Suresh Raina and Rishabh Pant.

He finished the Ranji Trophy for Tamil Nadu with 704 runs at an average of 54.15. In the limited-overs competitions, he had 854 runs from 12 innings, including centuries in the Vijay Hazare and Deodhar Trophy finals that led Tamil Nadu to twin titles. It was the fourth highest tally in a List A season in Indian cricket. He was one of the more consistent performers in a disappointing campaign for Gujarat Lions in the IPL, with 361 runs from 13 innings and two fifties.

He last played a One-Day International in India colours back in March 2014.

In a recent interview with Wisden India, Karthik credited the support of his coaches, including Tamil Nadu’s Hrishikesh Kanitkar, in allowing him the space to play his natural game even while encouraging him to take on more responsibility and for giving him a chance at an India comeback.

“What I’ve realised is that for the next level, what’s most important is the mental make-up. How you approach your innings, how you plan it,” he said.

India, the defending champions, who are in Group B of the Champions Trophy, open their campaign against Pakistan in Birmingham on June 4. Their other two league games are against Sri Lanka (June 8) and South Africa (June 11). The top two teams from each group will play in the semifinals, while the final will be held at The Oval on June 18.

India squad: Virat Kohli (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Yuvraj Singh, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, R Ashwin, R Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Dinesh Karthik.