Ganesh and I came to the conclusion that two reasonably good young Indian wicket-keepers, who're now unlikely to ever play for India again, Ajay Ratra
and Dinesh Karthik
actually look very similar to each other.
I also think George Bush & Ricky Ponting look alike, as do Vladimir Putin & Nasser Hussain
Anyway, this is what has happened in the last three years in the wicket-keeping 'pass the parcel' game in Indian cricket.
Parthiv Patel snatched Ajay Ratra's place midway through India's tour of England in 2002
but Ratra came back for the final test. Parthiv was seen to be a better batsman than Ratra and thus got the nod for subsequent series. But he made far too many wicket-keeping blunders and Dinesh Karthik was first picked in the one-day side
and then in the test side as well. After India's crushing loss to Australia at Nagpur
, Parthiv Patel was replaced by Dinesh Karthik for the Mumbai test
Dinesh Karthik seemed set to retain his place in the side for a while, first when he nearly got a century against Pakistan at Calcutta
and then when he was in the final shortlist for the 'Emerging Player of the Year' ICC award
. But with Kevin Pietersen's batting displays, he didn't stand a chance
. Nevertheless he kept quite well in the test matches, but he never really played enough one-day cricket to allow us to judge his ability as a batsman in that form of the game.
Dhoni's biffing against Pakistan at Vizag
, against Sri Lanka at Jaipur
, in the Faisalabad test
and most recently, against his favourite bowling attack at Lahore
and Karachi meant that his supreme ability to take the game & initiative away from the opposition was a much more significant factor than his lesser ability with the keeping gloves, compared to Dinesh Karthik.