Dinesh Karthik made his way into the Indian cricket team during the recent ODI series against New Zealand despite MS Dhoni being the first-choice wicketkeeper. The former India skipper will still remain that and Kathik is aware of that. Therefore, he has to perform in whatever limited opportunities he gets batting at number four as India still search for a batsman who can make that position his own.
The wicketkeeper-batsman also knows that this could be his last comeback but doesn’t want to think too much about it. He made promising 37 in first ODI against New Zealand and then an unbeaten and match-winning 64 in the second game.
“Maybe it is (the last of comebacks) but I have not looked at it that way,” Karthik told PTI. “If you start thinking on those lines (future in the team), you put extra pressure on yourself. I am satisfied with the way I batted in ODI series against New Zealand and would aim to do the same whenever I get the next opportunity.”
Ever since making his international debut in 2004, Karthik has seen limited opportunities coming his way as Dhoni cemented his place in the side. However, the 32-year has delivered on every occasion he has been recalled to the side. The 32-year-old Tamil Nadu batsman, who has been a consistent performer on the domestic circuit, is looking to replicate his performance against New Zealand in the Sri Lanka series as well.
“In terms of feelers (for the future) from the team management, nothing has been communicated. But regarding my batting, I did have a long chat with Ravi bhai (Shastri). He was happy with my batting against New Zealand but he said there are still areas where I can improve upon, especially maintaining the tempo of the innings since he feels I have all the shots. I agree with him and that is what I would look to do,” he added.
For a player who has played under four different captains (Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, MS Dhoni and now Virat Kohli), Karthik has seen the changes Indian cricket has gone through. Speaking about Kohli’s captaincy, he said that the Indian skipper has built a lifestyle and he leads from the front.
“With a leader like Virat, who has absolutely got it spot on in terms of fitness, he has built his lifestyle around it. The team members are learning a lot from that and they can see the exceptional performances he has been able to give in the last 5-6 years. It has trickled down to the players.”
Karthik doesn’t understand the hype around the Yo-Yo test which has to be cleared to play for the country. “The current benchmark is pretty achievable. Anybody who puts in a bit of effort can reach that mark. There is nothing earth-shattering about it. It only starts getting tougher from 17.5 onwards. There has been a lot of hue-and-cry about it but it is pretty achievable for most sportsmen,” he concluded.