What’s the story?
Discarded wicket-keeper batsman Dinesh Karthik has sent a message to the selectors with his remarkable showing in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. With the Indian ODI team gearing up to defend their Champions Trophy crown in June, the 31-year old admitted to striving hard to return to the squad.
When asked about his aspirations of featuring in the Champions Trophy, Karthik enthused, “I am not gonna lie, I am always dreaming of playing for India and that’s the ultimate aim. Whenever you play for your state, you try your best so you can put your name up there and get selected (for the Indian team). I’m no different and I’m trying very hard to achieve that.”
“I have always felt that batting is my strength and I always enjoy my keeping. I always preferred to bat up the order and that’s what I have been doing across all the formats. I feel it is important to be consistent and that is what I’m looking forward for,” he was quoted as per Indian Express.
In the past...
Since making his debut in 2004, Karthik has had a stop-start career. The instinctive right-hander featured in all five matches in India’s victorious 2013 Champions Trophy campaign and averaged 41 including a half-century. His last appearance in national colours came in the 2014 Asia Cup clash against Afghanistan.
The heart of the matter
Karthik was at his imperious best in the recently completed Vijay Hazare Trophy. In 9 matches, he scored 607 runs at an average of 86.71 and strike-rate of 102.01 with two centuries and four fifties. Aside from topping the run-charts, his exploits also helped Tamil Nadu lift the trophy for a record fifth time.
Extra Cover: 2017 Vijay Hazare Trophy – Team of the Tournament
The gloveman’s ability to bat under pressure was evident in the title clash against Bengal. Even as Indian pace spearhead Mohammed Shami and the experienced Ashok Dinda threatened to rip through the batting lineup, Karthik held fort and registered a 120-bal 112 to lift his team to a competitive total on a tricky surface. The Tamil Nadu bowlers fired collectively to seal a 37-run victory.
Karthik will be eager to continue his splendid form in the Deodhar Trophy where Tamil Nadu lock horns against India ‘A’ and India ‘B’. The 2017 IPL should present another platform for the Gujarat Lions player to showcase his skills with both bat and gloves.
The next couple of tournaments are extremely crucial for Karthik to stake a serious claim for the back-up wicket-keeper slot in India's Champions Trophy squad. With youngsters like Rishabh Pant also in the fray, he needs to seize the spotlight by producing high-impact knocks.