The curious case of Dinesh Karthik
- Dinesh Karthik is in the news for his match-winning knock against Bangladesh in the final of the NIdahas Trophy 2018.
After his 29-run cameo in the Nidahas Trophy final, Dinesh Karthik won't be forgotten for a long time now. Despite having made his international debut way back in 2004, Karthik still isn't considered among the first rung of Indian cricketers.
The primary reason, due to which he never succeeded in doing so, was that he was always considered a backup option. You call it bad luck or a string of bad performances, Karthik never actually got going.
Coming from Tamil Nadu, he made his International Test debut ahead of Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Karthik got many opportunities, but he failed repeatedly and was ultimately shown the door. The opportunity of wicket keeping went to MSD who grabbed it with both hands just like he grabs all his Trophies.
Thereby, despite some good performances, Karthik failed to catch the eyes of the selectors. His second valid opportunity came after India's defeat in the 2007 World Cup. Things were going quite well for him until he got injured. The retirement of Indian batting greats like Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly vacated some spots but Karthik’s regular injuries ensured that the chances went begging.
Today's stars like Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina are the product of those times. Moreover, as stated above, the main reason for him being out of the team was his bad luck at a time when his domestic career was reaching great heights. He performed in every tournament, be it Ranji Trophy or the Duleep trophy.
But then the IPL happened and his story of being inconsistent came to the fore again. Players including Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin made their way to the national team after performing well in the IPL but Karthik was lost far behind. Inconsistency is the reason that he has played for as many as 6 teams in 10 seasons of the IPL.
After being in and out of the team for another 3-4 years, he finally got an opportunity to play for India in the Nidahas Trophy. But this time he was ready and hit the bull's eye. In the all-important final, when the fans had lost all their hope, Karthik pulled off a surreal inning by hitting the last ball for a six.
He ended up scoring 29 runs off only 8 balls. His short innings included a lofted straight drive, a blistering cover drive and AB de Villiers type four over fine leg. Not only were the shots picture perfect but his timing was also immaculate. This innings will help in boosting his confidence for his upcoming performances.
Dinesh Karthik is 32 years of age and still very fit, so much so that he can give you another 2 to 3 years of international cricket. It's no secret that India needs a couple of dependable middle order batsmen ahead of the 2019 World Cup and Karthik is someone who can fit the role.
After his last innings, he has become a new favourite of the Indian cricket lovers. In the IPL too, he is going to lead the Kolkata Knight Riders and who knows, if he continues to play like this, he might give them their third IPL Title.Published 20 Mar 2018, 04:00 IST