Having made his return to India’s limited-overs squad in October 2017, veteran batsman Dinesh Karthik is doing a fairly good job in the lower middle order. While Karthik has registered the scores of 37, 64*, 4*, 0 and 26* in his last five ODI innings, he has got out only once in his last eight T20I innings.
Considering the inconsistent past performances of Karthik, you must be wondering what made the 32-year-old so fearless yet responsible in his approach towards batting. To an extent, the credit for it goes to the legendary India batsman VVS Laxman, who made Karthik realize the difference between scoring runs and winning matches.
“I was consistently thinking about my future in the past. In the last two years, my mindset has kind of changed,” Karthik said according to Hindustan Times.
“One of the conversations with VVS after the last IPL actually opened me up as a cricketer. He said at this stage of my career, the most important thing was not those good looking 30s and 40s or the brilliant hundreds. It’s about being able to win matches that I play for any team. That kind of stuck to me. That kind of was like brainwave. Those are valuable words said to me and I am indebted to him for that,” he added.
Karthik recently became an overnight star because of his last-ball six against Bangladesh that helped India clinch the Nidahas T20I tri-series. Chasing Bangladesh’s target of 167 runs, the Men in Blue were requiring 34 runs in the last 2 overs and Karthik managed to turn things around by scoring 22 runs in the penultimate over off Rubel Hossain. Needing 12 runs in the 20th over, Karthik effortlessly launched Soumya Sarkar over extra cover in the final delivery to seal the deal. He finished the final with a breathtaking 8 ball-29.
Asked how he felt after pulling off this incredible innings, Karthik said: “First thing, now it has sunk in, it’s been three-four days. For me, it’s not just those eight balls; it’s all that I’ve done in the last 14 years, looking to play international cricket for the last 20-22 years, all those things culminated to help me get those runs.”
In the upcoming IPL, Dinesh Karthik will play for Kolkata Knight Riders. In fact, he has been chosen to captain the side. Excited about his new role, Karthik is glad that he will become only the third Indian player after Sourav Ganguly and Gautam Gambhir to lead KKR.
“Leading a franchise, which only had two captains till now — Sourav Ganguly and Gautam Gambhir — I’m happy I am the third captain and they have given me a lot of responsibility. It’s a big franchise that has played a lot of consistent cricket in the last few years and it’s a big responsibility,” he said.
“I hope a lot of boys will be proud for his captain for doing something for the country and give me some small respect. Having said that, when I get to IPL, it’s a new tournament and I have to be confident as a batsman and be a good captain,” Dinesh Karthik concluded.