Wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik is "really looking forward" to meeting Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) star players Virat Kohli, Mohammed Siraj and other support staff members when he joins the franchise for IPL 2022.
Speaking to Cricbuzz ahead of the season, Karthik called living in an isolated environment with the same people one of the "good things" about bio-bubbles. He said he gets along well with Kohli, as do their wives with each other. He labeled Siraj a "joke-a-minute" guy, saying he's always had a "lot of fun" with the right-arm pacer.
"Virat Kohli, you know, he's somebody I get along well with so I am really looking forward to interacting with him. Both our wives know each other as well... The good thing about being in a bubble is, you know, you are in a very enclosed environment and together for a long time. So I am really looking forward to spending some time with him."
The 36-year-old added:
"Also my other friend - Mr. Siraj. I've missed him. We bonded really well when we were together in the team... He's a joke-a-minute kind of guy and I've always had a lot of fun being around him... Apart from that, I have a couple of close friends in the support staff as well. Mr. Basu (Shanker, Strength and Conditioning Coach), (Sridharan) Sriram (Batting and Spin Bowling coach) and Malolan (Rangarajan, Head of Scouting and Fielding Coach) sir. I am really looking forward to spending as much time as possible with all of them."
RCB signed Karthik for ₹5.5 crore at the mega auction last month. This will be his second stint at the franchise, with the first being in 2015 when Bangalore lost to Chennai Super Kings in Qualifier 2. The right-handed batter said he was "happy, excited, and surprised" to be picked up by his old IPL team, which is also close to his home in Chennai.
"Very, very happy, excited, [and] surprised actually. In many ways, it's very good to be coming back to a franchise to play. I must admit, six years ago when I played for the team we had a fabulous year and we almost kind of crossed the line but just finished a little short. Really looking forward to doing well for the franchise, the closest franchise in terms of proximity to where I come from - Chennai. So, I am very very happy to be a part of this franchise."
Incidentally, 2015 was one of his worst seasons in the IPL as he could only muster 141 runs from 16 matches at an average of 12.82 and a strike rate of 120.51. His next few seasons have been much better and RCB will hope to see similar form from their key middle-order batter.
"I'll take it to my grave" - Dinesh Karthik remembers a warm conversation with Chris Gayle
Without revealing the details, Karthik also recalled having a "nice and warm" chat with another former RCB superstar, Chris Gayle. He said it changed his perception of the West Indies legend and that he'll remember the conversation forever.
Karthik concluded by saying:
"I remember Chris Gayle came and talked to me. It was 2016, he was part of the team (RCB) and he came and spoke to me and we had a really nice conversation, a warm conversation and that's when I realized what a nice, warm person he is. We all know Chris Gayle the flamboyant person but we had a nice heart-to-heart conversation which I'll take to my grave. It... gave me a lot of good feelings, good vibes, confidence; it was very nice of him to do that."
RCB will start their IPL 2022 schedule against the Punjab Kings at the DY Patil Sports Academy on March 27.