G.S. Vivek

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I want to play the role of a finisher for India: Karthik

In an interview with The Sunday Express, Karthik speaks about his dream of becoming a good finisher for Team India, his purple patch and his ability to adapt within the three formats of the game.

A day before the Delhi Daredevils-Royal Challengers Bangalore match at the Ferozeshah Kotla, Dinesh Karthik enjoyed a well-deserved break from rigorous practice. In an interview with The Sunday Express, Karthik speaks about his dream of becoming a good finisher for Team India, his purple patch and his ability to adapt within the three formats of the game.

 

Are you going through your best phase with the bat?

 

I do feel that I have been batting very well recently. It's tough for me to compare how I was batting before and now, but I am obviously very happy with the way my batting is shaping up and with the way I'm hitting the ball.

 

Prior to this period, you had a rough time by being in-and-out of the Indian team's dressing room. What do you think went wrong?

 

When you get dropped, you do sit down and try and reassess. After I was dropped two years back after the Sri Lanka series, I had a serious rethink on my game, and the way I was going. When you are down or you get out cheaply, people talk about you, one needs to make a note and sit down patiently and assess the merits and demerits. I realised that there was a problem with my mindset - I used to get worked up very easily and I needed to improve my keeping. I made a conscious attempt to rectify those mistakes and I can confidently say that I have improved drastically since then.

 

What's the secret behind being successful in all three formats of the game?

 

When you are playing in all three formats of the game, you need to make a clear demarcation of what you have to do. You need to understand that they are three different formats and you need to know how to react differently in each one of them, separately. I think this is one of the first lessons you need to learn as a professional cricketer.

 

You have surprised many with your aggressive batting.

 

For me, it has never been about being flashy, or about telling people how many shots I have in my kitty. When I am playing those shots I am just reacting to what the team requirements are. Over the years you learn and it comes through sheer experience. I also spend a lot of time at the nets - in fact, I have been working a lot with my coach Jayaram (former Kerala skipper) but I think some of the decisions to play the shots comes with my mental strength.

 

Do you see yourself playing the role of a finisher in T20?

 

I believe in myself, that's my motto in life and I can proudly say that I can be a good finisher. I would take that role of a finisher any day, it's a high-pressure job: Dhoni and Yuvraj have been doing it for sometime now and I want to take over that job. I have been able to finish a few games for Delhi Daredevils and I want to do the same for the Indian team as well.

 

How have you managed to set aside your wicket-keeping for sake of an international career?

 

I have managed it well in the last couple of years. I don't think too much about keeping when I am with the Indian team. Obviously I am only there as a back-up for Dhoni and I concentrate on my batting. When I get back to the domestic circuit, it does take a while to adjust back, because I haven't kept for a while. But that's a bargain I willing to take to play for India.

 

You have been a floater in the batting order, why do you think you haven't made a permanent place yet?

 

Yes I have floated up and down the order over the years but that's because it's not possible for me to demand a particular position to bat in the Indian team. So in such a scenario, you have to back yourself to do whatever job the team requires.

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