Wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik has asserted that he still has hopes of making a comeback for the Indian team in the T20 format. He stated that the fire is still burning bright in him as far as T20 cricket is concerned.
The 36-year-old last played for India in the 2019 ODI World Cup semi-final against New Zealand in Manchester. Over the last couple of seasons, young Rishabh Pant has been India’s no.1 keeper across formats.
Although Karthik’s chances of a comeback even as a T20 specialist seem bleak, the veteran cricketer has not given up hope as yet. In an interview with ANI, he said:
"It is about playing the sport, I genuinely harbour the ambition of playing for the country again and I want to do everything possible, that is my ultimate goal. I train and practice, everything I do right now is working towards that goal. The next three years for me is about playing the sport and doing everything I can. I enjoy playing the sport.”
While not being part of international cricket, the keeper-batter has been a regular feature for Tamil Nadu in domestic cricket. He led the team that lifted the 2020-21 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and was part of the squad that finished runners-up in the Vijay Hazare Trophy in December 2021.
Karthik stated that he has thoroughly enjoyed being part of Tamil Nadu’s success and said:
"The kind of success we have had as a state team has been phenomenal and me being a part of that journey is something I have thoroughly enjoyed. My main aim is to play for the country again, especially the T20 format. T20 is something, the fire is still burning very brightly."
The right-hander batter top-scored for Tamil Nadu with 116 in the Vijay Hazare Trophy final. However, his effort was in vain as Himachal Pradesh won the summit clash by 11 runs via the VJD method.
“That is a role I am looking at very keenly” - Dinesh Karthik aiming at finishers’ spot
In recent times, India have been struggling in the finishing department in white-ball cricket. Their middle and lower order were below par in South Africa as well during the ODIs.
Karthik is confident of doing a good job for India in the T20 format and explained:
"Even the last T20 World Cup, one of the main areas is a finisher and that is a role I am looking at very keenly. Over the period of time, the stats and performances show that I have done a decent job in the limited time I have spent in Indian colours and the franchises I have played for."
Karthik has so far represented India in 32 T20Is and has scored 399 runs at a strike rate of 143.52.