An unfortunate thumb injury to Wriddhiman Saha had given a golden opportunity to Dinesh Karthik to resuscitate his Test career against Afghanistan last month. With Saha’s injury and subsequent recovery getting botched up in the NCA ahead of the five-Test series against England, the selectors have once again shown faith in Karthik to carry the wicketkeeping responsibility for the five-Test series.
Given that Karthik had played an instrumental role in India’s Test series win on English soil back in 2007, he can certainly prove to be a key figure on this tour as well.
Addressing the media conference on Saturday (July 28) in Birmingham, Karthik recalled the historic 2007 series, saying: “My memory is so bad that I can’t rewind that far back and see, but I do know that that was one of the highlights of my career. It was a terrific Test series, one of the few Test series where all three matches, India and England played the same XI through the series. It just goes to show how competitive it was. Both the teams didn’t feel the need to make changes, which shows the quality of cricket that was played.”
“There was a lot of banter, lot of arguments, a lot of heated moments in the Test series but then it was all played in good spirit and we saved a game in Lord’s. We went on to win one in Nottingham and the Surrey (The Oval) game, Anil Kumble got a hundred and we posted such a big score that they had no way to make a match out of it,” he added.
Having made his return to India’s limited-overs squad in October 2017, Karthik has done a fairly good job in the lower middle order. He became an overnight star after his last-ball six against Bangladesh that helped India clinch the Nidahas T20I tri-series in March.
However, Karthik admitted to ‘some nervous excitement’ going into the high-voltage Test series.
“I am excited. It is obviously a big Test series for both the sides, so really looking forward to it. I am sure with two good teams, it will be a great contest. I am playing Test cricket after a long time. It’s a great challenge to come to England and play well. Like any other player, I am as excited as I can be,” he remarked.
Dinesh Karthik concluded by predicting a close-contested series.
“We have been two cricketing nations who have played good cricket over a good period of time. Obviously, when they toured India, it was a big challenge that they faced (when England lost the five-Test series 0-4 in November-December 2016). Now it is our turn to come to England and the conditions are a little alien to us. As a team, we are really looking forward to it. We can see the captain and the coach leading us from the front with a lot of positive energy and a lot of positive vibes. So at this point of time, the mood in the camp is upbeat,” he signed-off.
(With inputs from Wisden India)