Flashback to Karthik's 2007 tour
One player suffered a form-slump after 2007 and was permanently dropped from the Indian Test team with an occasional call-up here and there. And now, this man is making a comeback. It's been more than 8 years since Dinesh Karthik last donned the whites for India. However, Indian cricket fans are all excited for this player to show up and put his best foot forward. The reason is simple - he has instilled that kind of faith.
Nobody can get the Nidahas Trophy Final out of their head even if they wanted to because of DK's 8-ball 29 assault that sealed an Indian win which seemed out of reach at that time. And just as everyone started to believe that India's middle order problems might be solved with Karthik coming out as an unexpected savior, DK had more in store.
The newly-appointed Kolkata Knight Riders captain delivered a career-best season amassing 498 runs in 16 games at an average of 49.80 and strike rate of 147.7. His heroics led KKR to finishing third in the season. And Karthik proving that he was well and truly in top form was just the icing on the cake for the Indian cricket team fans.
Just as people were making a case for Karthik's comeback in the ODI side, Saha was ruled out of the historic India versus Afghanistan Test due to an injury to his right thumb which he picked in the IPL. And in no time, the news flashing of DK's return to the Test side went viral.
But looking beyond the Afghanistan Test, India is lined up to tour England from July-September. The highly anticipated tour has 5 Tests, 3 ODIs and 3 T20s. The Test squad for the same is yet to be announced and many are speculating that Dinesh Karthik might sneak into the scheme of things. And why should he not. One of DK's most impressive performances in his 23-match Test career was back in 2007 when India toured England.
Dinesh Karthik ended up being the highest run-scorer for India in the Test series, helping India win their first series in England in 21 years. Here's a flashback to how that happened:
1st Test, Lord's
Result : Match Drawn
Dinesh Karthik was handed the responsibility of opening the innings during the 2007 tour. He came into the first test match on the back of a 76 and a 51 in the two tour games leading up to the series. In the first innings of the first Test match, he could only score 5 runs. But he came back strongly in the second innings scoring a 60 when India had to chase 380 before rains cut the match short and it ended in a draw.
2nd Test, Trent Bridge
Result : India win by 7 wickets
India won the toss in Nottingham and chose to bowl first. They bowled out England for a meagre 198 runs. DK then went on to score 77 runs in the first innings which laid a solid foundation for the rest of the batting order to follow and India ended their innings with a mighty score of 481. India bowled out England for 355 runs and the target of 73 runs was achieved like a walk in the park by the visitors with the Southpaw scoring 22 of those. India gained a 1-0 unassailable lead at the end of the second Test.
3rd Test, Oval
Result : Match Drawn
In the third Test at The Oval, Karthik continued his good form and scored 91 as India batted first, contributing in India's gigantic first innings score of 664 all out. This was enough to secure a 319-run first innings lead. He couldn't contribute much with the bat in the second innings though. The game was rain-hit and this time it favored the hosts as they battled out a draw.
With a total of 263 runs at 43.83, Karthik was the highest scorer in the series for India and delivered solid starts in most of the games as an opener. India won the series 1–0 and secured their first series victory in England since 1986.
It's been 11 years now but DK's name is being heard around the selection table once again and with Saha injured, his performance in the Afghanistan Test becomes all the more important. Also, looking at his last performance in England, the wicketkeeper-batsman from Tamil Nadu doesn't seem like a bad choice for the England tour as well. One can only hope that Karthik can better his numbers from here on because he has earned this second innings in his career.
Should DK be selected in the squad for the England Tests? Sound off in the comments section below.