This could be Dinesh Karthik's chance to seal his position in the ODI team
Dinesh Karthik made his international debut for India in 2004 at just 19 years of age as a wicketkeeper-batsman with immense potential. After what has been a long gap of 13 years, he has now made his comeback to ODI cricket; this time, with the hope to convert his ability and skills into a successful international career.
With his impressive stroke play, he can push spectators to the edge of their seats, but his unusual selection of shots can often equally frustrate the audience =. He can make unbelievable stumpings look easy (as he did in 2004 against England to get rid of Michael Vaughan), and also allow the easiest ones to go past him. He can take stunning catches (as he did against the Proteas in the 2007 World T20), and can just as easily drop an easy one.
Due to these inconsistent performances, he has not been a part of the team on a regular basis. Consequently, his exclusion paved the way for M. S. Dhoni to seal his spot in the Indian cricket team.
Karthik never lost hope; he has always been confident and continues to work hard to make a mark at the international level. In the current scenario, he is in stiff competition with the new young guns of Indian cricket, such as Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson.
Karthik’s positive mindset is what has always kept him going. By staying upbeat and confident, and keeping himself physically fit and strong, he has made it clear that there will always be an opportunity to make a comeback to the national team.
Since the start of 2016 season, he has scored 1,122 runs in 19 innings in List A cricket, at an average of 74.80. Also, he scored four centuries, including one in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. Additionally, in the IPL, he scored 512 runs for the Gujarat Lions at an average of 32.
It is still very early in the comeback story for Karthik, and he must keep himself aware of the fact that there are so many other batsmen around the corner, all waiting to seize the first opportunity that comes their way.
It must be said that if he keeps performing like he did in the second ODI against New Zealand at Pune, he might very well be able to finally seal his spot in the batting line-up. His half-century, the ninth of his career, certainly had a role in propelling India to a win against the Kiwis.
Whether he will go the distance or this is just another of his many comebacks, only time will tell.