When you hear Dinesh Karthik and Team India in the same sentence, what’s the first picture that comes to your mind? Is it Dinesh Karthik, the wicketkeeper, almost parallel to the ground to stump Michael Vaughan in 2004? Or is it Dinesh Karthik, the batsman, smashing 29 runs off eight balls to guide his team to the Nidahas Trophy title in 2018 against Bangladesh?
Interestingly, both these defining moments came at very testing times for the Tamil Nadu player. Despite standing up to the test, his career could not never really take off. Throwback to that stumping in 2004, it was his first game but he happened to make his debut at a time MS Dhoni was en route to becoming India captain. So, and pragmatically speaking, it was difficult for anyone else to keep wickets.
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The 2018 innings followed a public ultimatum to himself. Before the final, he stated that this could be his last innings if he didn’t perform. But boy, did he perform. Yet, he failed to become a regular member of the team. By this time, a certain someone named Rishabh Pant was rising up the ranks, ready to take the baton from Dhoni.
So, does 36-year-old Karthik, after almost 15 start-stop years in international cricket, still hope to make a comeback into the team?
In an interview with Sportskeeda, the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) wicketkeeper says he believes he should be a part of the T20I set-up and is hopeful of featuring in India’s upcoming white-ball tour against Sri Lanka in July and even the ICC T20 World Cup.
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“100%. I think if you go by my stats, in domestic cricket, in the IPL, in T20Is – I’m very confident and I genuinely believe I should be there in the team. The rest is up to the selectors and the think tank to obviously pick the team. I believe I can contribute to this team in the middle order and I’m looking forward to showcasing my skills in the T20 format,” highlighted Karthik.
In the shortest format of the game, the right-hander has scored 399 runs in 32 matches at a strike-rate of 143.52