Kings XI Punjab batsman Dinesh Karthik celebrates his half century (50 runs) during the IPL Twenty20 match between Kochi Tuskers Kerala and Kings XI Punjab at The Holkar Stadium in Indore.
Dinesh Karthik had the edge over Mahendra Singh Dhoni when he started his international career. He played some impressive innings too, but has been guilty of being inconsistent. Consequently, he lost his spot in the Indian team to Dhoni and now has been pegged back in the competition for the second wicketkeeper's slot. The Kings XI player spoke to the Hindustan Times on the lessons learnt in his career.
How do you look at your career?
It's been up and down; I have been in and out of the team. It is high time I pulled up my socks and got to a stage where I am consistent to be at a level where I do what I need to do to be in the team consistently. I am confident the way it's heading, I will do it.
When you scored 90-odd runs in the Kolkata Test against Pakistan in the 2005 series, it was an ideal chance to cement your place in the side. What went wrong?
After that I opened the innings for India. I had a few opportunities, got quite a few 50s, but the key is to covert the 50s into 100s to succeed at the next level and I think I didn't do that well enough. That was my downfall.
Your inconsistency opened the doors for a phenomenon called Dhoni…
When I started playing as a batsman, he was already the vice-captain. So, it was not about Dhoni as such, it was about me. I got the opportunity and I got quite a few 50s, but I didn't convert it into 100s and that has been the main problem with me.
Now that you are earning big money in the IPL, do you still have the motivation to play for India?
I wouldn't deny that I am well paid. Ninety per cent of my earnings are from the IPL. Having said that, there is a certain amount of satisfaction you get (playing for the national team) which club cricket cannot give. The pride that is involved with winning a game for your country is a different feeling and I know that feeling. I have experienced that before and money is not the criteria for that feeling to come again. The desire is very, very strong.
You are not getting the keeper's role regularly, don't you fear you might lose your edge in 'keeping?
It is not something I can control. I genuinely believe that if you have a particular skill, it will not just go away.
I keep practicing whenever I get the opportunity. I am doing my regular routines; taking my catches so that when I get the opportunity I am ready for it.