New Delhi: With the skipper of the Indian team — Mahendra Singh Dhoni — being a wicket-keeper himself, it isn’t easy for any other wicket-keeper to cement his place in the team.
But Dinesh Karthik is one gloves-man who has evolved over the years and adopted different roles at different phases of his career with aplomb.
From being a Test opener to a middle-order bat in ODIs to playing as a wicket-keeper, the versatile cricketer from Tamil Nadu has done it all. Sadly, Karthik hasn’t been fortunate in the past.
A couple of poor outings have seen him being shown the door.
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But all that changed in the recent past. No sooner did he get engaged to squash player Dipika Pallikal in November 2013 than the lady luck seemed to have smiled on him. Not only did he get picked for a whopping Rs 12.5 crore by Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League auction in Bangalore on February 12, but also he was on Thursday drafted into the Indian team after Dhoni was ruled out of the Asia Cup with a side strain.
“I would definitely like to believe that my luck has changed ever since I got engaged to Dipika. It feels good to be back in the Indian team. It is every cricketer’s dream to play for the country and I would like to give my best shot in Bangladesh,” he told MAIL TODAY.
While some players have got a longer rope after failing to perform, Karthik was unfortunate to be shown the door after the series against Zimbabwe — despite averaging 87.00 in the five-match series.
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But Karthik says that motivation has never been a problem for him.
“There can never be a bigger motivation than playing for the country. After getting dropped from the team, I came back to play for Tamil Nadu and worked hard at the nets. I believe that there is no substitute for hard work and I looked at working on my game and improving further,” the 28-year-old player said.
On being picked by the Daredevils, Karthik said: “Obviously, I am very pleased. I had just come back from the match — playing for Rest of India against Karnataka in the Irani Cup — and it was a great news.”
“I am looking forward to working with Gary Kirsten. His track record has been phenomenal. It is going to be a wonderful experience to be working with him.”