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Dinesh Karthik says getting Indian cricket team recall tougher than making debut

Dinesh Karthik, whose success for the Indian cricket team has been fleeting despite a decent first-class career, believes getting recalled to the side is much harder than getting your first call-up

cricket Updated: Nov 10, 2017 09:08 IST
Abhishek Paul
Abhishek Paul
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Dinesh Karthik,Indian cricket team,Virat Kohli
Dinesh Karthik is ready to play in any role required of him for the Indian cricket team. (PTI)

Dinesh Karthik’s unbeaten 64 in the second ODI against New Zealand came at an opportune time, not only for India but also for the cricketer himself. The 92-ball knock helped India level the three-match series and gave the 32-year-old fresh hope.

It was the second ODI series for Karthik this year after the West Indies tour in July. That journey to the Caribbeans ended a three-year wait for him to be part of Team India’s playing XI.

Karthik, a veteran of 157 first-class matches, acknowledges that success has been quite fleeting for him on the international stage.

“It is always harder to make an international comeback than play for the first time. When you are part of the playing XI after a long time, you have to fight a lot of mental pressure to prove yourself,” Dinesh Karthik told Hindustan Times.

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Karthik was also named in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy squad but played just a warm-up match. Ironically, he had made a comeback in the 2013 Champions Trophy too, after a gap of three years.

Each time, a strong showing in domestic cricket led to Karthik being back. This time around, Karthik feels that the patient knocks against New Zealand (64* and 37) have helped him sooth his nerves.

“I feel I am in a good position right now. I got my chances (against New Zealand) and I am happy to spend good time in the middle and score runs,” says Karthik, who led Tamil Nadu to Vijay Hazare Trophy win in 2016-17 with a century in final.

‘Prepared for any role’

With the focus on 2019 World Cup, Dinesh Karthik’s latest selection seems to have more relevance than on previous occasions.

The Indian middle order has still not zeroed in on a set line-up, while question remains on who will be MS Dhoni’s back-up as wicket-keeper going forward. Karthik can fit in both those roles.

He is, however, not eager to see too far into the future. “Right now the coach (Ravi Shashtri) and captain (Virat Kohli) are doing a great job. The team has been on a winning run and it’s great. For me, I would want to contribute in whatever role is given to me.

“I am not in a position to decide about my role. But I am ready to play my part in all three areas.”

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With Karthik being given a nod for the ODIs ahead of youngsters like Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer, he again finds himself on MS Dhoni’s side, whose emergence was a reason for Karthik getting sidelined.

“He (Dhoni) has great cricketing acumen. Nobody can deny his contribution. It’s good to have him by your side,” he said.

‘Surprised to better New Zealand’s fielding’

Karthik, who has played under several Indian captains including Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and MS Dhoni, says the Virat Kohli-led side’s performance as a fielding unit has been exceptional.

“This team is one of the strongest simply because of the batting depth. Also, I was surprised with the way we were better than New Zealand in fielding.

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“They are top fielders and we did better than them, which is quite an achievement. To stop those extra 10 to 15 runs is crucial in deciding games.”

“Credit should be given to R Sridhar (fielding coach). I think if this team plays to its potential, it can pretty much achieve anything.”

First Published: Nov 10, 2017 09:08 IST