The image of Dinesh Karthik stumping Michale Vaughan in 2004 is still in the minds of ardent cricket fans. But despite showing a lot of promise, he could not make it very big in international cricket. Over time, he got opportunities for India but wasn't able to capitalize and unleash his full potential until 2018, when he played an iconic knock for India as a finisher. Since then, he has come a long way and Karthik has established a reputation of himself as a fine hitter down the order.
Dinesh Karthik was an integral part of India’s win over England in Test series in 2007. But he failed to capitalise on his chances and his below-par wicketkeeping ensured that he was going in and out of the Indian national squad. He may have had an unfulfilling international cricketing career but his stint in IPL has been quite good. He was picked by different sides in different seasons for a handsome amount of money and was even-handed the captaincy of Kolkata Knight Riders in 2018 replacing Gautam Gambhir.This opportunity opened things up for him, with his role changing over the years and currently he is one of the most prolific finishers of the white ball cricket, a batsman that Indian fans look forward to hit the ball far away!
Dinesh Karthik is the first-ever Indian cricketer to win a Twenty20 International Man of the Match award. He got in while playing against South Africa in 2006. He also holds the record of facing the most number of deliveries, 18, by an Indian batsman for scoring no runs in ODI.
He has scored 1752 ODI career runs without scoring a century.
Batting at the number 6 position, he has scored 55 runs and sits at the 38th spot for hitting most runs at this position in T20Is.
He has the 7th highest strike rate in a T20 inning (362.50).
He was involved in the 19th highest partnership in T20s for the 7th wicket (63*).
He has the 2nd longest T20 career (15 years 307 days)
He has 31 keeping dismissals which is the 31st most by a wicket-keeper in T20s.
DK has dismissed 4 batsmen in a single T20 innings, 7th most by a keeper.
He has taken 15 catches as a keeper in T20s, which is 37th most overall.
Karthik has taken 3 catches in a T20 innings, 19th most by a keeper.
With 8 stumpings in his T20 career, Karthik has 22nd most stumpings overall as a keeper.
Karthik has played 41 innings before his first duck combined in all three formats.
Karthik has 21 stumpings in his career, counting all three formats.
In 2009-10 he was made the captain of Tamil Nadu Ranji team and scored 443 runs at an average of over 55 in the season with the help of two tons and two 70+ scores.
In 2018-2019, Dinesh Karthik captained the India A team in the Deodhar Trophy. 2019 saw him play for the India C in the same tournament. Two years later, Karthik captained the Tamil Nadu team in the 2020-2021 edition of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and won the tournament for a second time.
Karthik had led the team to their first title victory prior to this in 2006-2007.
Dinesh Karthik's tryst with cricket started at the age of 10. He first coach was his father. Karthik trained hard with the help of his father. In his initial year, he played in Tamil Nadu’s youth teams. From this, he steadily climbed the ranks and made his Under-14s debut in 1999 for Tamil Nadu. A year later, he was promoted to the Under-19s and the following season he made his first-class debut.
Karthik was called to Ranji Trophy team at the start of the 2003-2004 season. He scored 438 runs in the tournament, which included two centuries, one each in the semi-final and the final. This performance of his earned him a place in India squad for the 2004 Under-19 Cricket World Cup in Bangladesh. In the 2008-09 and 2009-10 season of Ranji Trophy, Karthik gave a series of strong performances. In 2009-10 he was made the captain of Tamil Nadu Ranji team.
Dinesh Karthik played in the inaugural season of the IPL for Delhi Daredevils. In 2011, he was bought by Kings XI Punjab for $900,000. The next season, he joined Mumbai Indians for $2.35 million. In IPL 2014, he came back to Delhi Daredevils. In 2015, he went to Royal Challengers Bangalore and in 2016 to Gujarat Lions. In 2018 season, he was bought by Kolkata Knight Riders and was made the captain of the team. He took the team to the playoffs but lost there.
He was bought for a whopping 12.5 crores by Delhi Daredevils in 2014. Karthik went for 10.5 crore rupees when he was picked by the RCB in the next season. He showed good forms in between but couldn’t maintain consistency while playing for Gujrat Lions in 2016 and 2017.
The year2018 saw a huge turnaround when he was bought by the KKR and was made the captain of the side. He performed extremely well as a captain as he took the team to playoffs and scored 498 runs in total.
After being a Knight Rider for 4 years, Karthik once again joined the the RCB squad in 2022 for 5.5 crore rupees and played brilliantly as a finisher for them, scoring 330 runs in the season at an average of 55.00 and a strike rate of 183! Karthik has 4376 runs to his name in 229 matches through the 14 seasons of the IPL.
Karthik made his Test debut against Australian cricket team in 2004 in Mumbai. He failed to make an impact in his initial innings. MS Dhoni, who debuted around the same time as Karthik, was preferred over him in batting and keeping abilities.
He played in the 2004 ICC Champions Trophy but was eventually replaced by MS Dhoni. In the subsequent series, Dhoni kept performing better and Karthik was unable to capitalise on his chances. Although he was included in the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup squad he didn’t play a single match in the tournament.
After India’s poor performance in the 2007 World Cup, the regular openers were dropped Karthik got a chance to open the innings. By mid-2007, he had established himself as the regular opener for the team. But this didn’t last for long as he was shifted down the batting order. He also kept going in and out of the team which did little to help his cause of getting a permanent spot in the squad.
With Dhoni taking over the captaincy during the 2007 ICC T20 World Cup and taking the side to a title victory, he cemented his position as India's wicket-keeper batsman. Although he was picked in squads for all three formats during the 2008 tour to New Zealand.
Karthik’s ODI debut also came in 2004 against England. Karthik was also selected for the inaugural 2007 ICC World Twenty20 in South Africa in 2007. He was not able to perform well and was replaced by Rohit Sharma for the semi-final and the final. In 2009, he was called back to India’s ODI squad to replace Dhoni, who was banned due to slow over-rate.
Karthik’s failure to prove himself showed him the exit gate from the Indian team once again. This led to a long wait for Karthik to make his comeback in the international blue colors.
He finally made his first appearance for India five years later in the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy, but it didn’t do him good and he was dropped again.
After making a statement in the domestic cricket and the IPL, Karthik came in as a finisher for India down the order after a long wait of close to 4-5 years and won the Nidahas Trophy Final for India by scoring a last ball six against Bangladesh. With consistent efforts down the order, Karthik earned a spot in the 2019 ICC World Cup squad, a dream come true moment for him! He wasn’t able to capitalize on this opportunity and scored just 14 runs in the three matches that he played.
A disappointing performance once again knocked him out of the Indian team with Rishabh Pant gaining reputation as the wicket-keeper batsman. But he capitalised on the chances he got in between alongside his form in the IPL and DK started to generate a hype for himself in the recent months.
With his heroics for RCB as a finisher in this year's IPL, he extended this great run for India too, striking consistently with strike rates over 200 and is currently one of the most dangerous batsmen out there.
He was again recalled for the team for the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy.
The 2018 Nidahas Trophy final is most probably the greatest highlight of Karthik’s career where he played a match-winning innings and helped India win the series by hitting a six on the last ball when five runs were required. In 2019, he was named in the Indian squad for the 2019 ICC World Cup.
Karthik’s father, Krishnakumar was a first division cricketer from Chennai. He was not able to make it big in the cricketing arena and took the mantle of training his son from a young age. Karthik is married to Dipika Pallikal, with whom he tied the knot in 2015. This is his second marriage after getting divorced from Nikita Vanjara in 2012. Former Indian cricketer Robin Singh has played the role of a mentor and coach in Karthik’s life. Karthik and Dipika welcomed twin boys, Kabir and Zian in 2021.