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Dinesh Karthik says VVS Laxman’s advice turned his career around

Dinesh Karthik, India’s hero in the Nidahas Trophy T20 tri-series final win over Bangladesh, said VVS Laxman changed his mindset and that has made a huge difference.

cricket Updated: Mar 24, 2018 22:53 IST
Bihan Sengupta
Bihan Sengupta
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Dinesh Karthik,VVS Laxman,Indian Cricket Team
Dinesh Karthik was named the captain of Kolkata Knight Riders for 2018 Indian Premier League (IPL) earlier this month. (Twitter )

Dinesh Karthik credited former India batsman VVS Laxman on Saturday as the mentor who changed his cricketing career by making him realise that he must step up his game if he had to survive competition at this age.

“I was consistently thinking about my future in the past. In the last two years, my mindset has kind of changed,” Karthik, 32, said before the game between No Honking 11 and Road Safety 11 — a charity match aimed at promoting traffic awareness.

(Read | R Vinay Kumar backs Dinesh Karthik as Kolkata Knight Riders skipper in IPL)

“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 said.

Karthik hit a match-winning eight-ball 29 with a last-ball six to help India clinch the Nidahas Trophy T20 tri-series final against Bangladesh in Sri Lanka on March 18. Although he last featured in a Test back in 2010, the wicketkeeper has played in both the shorter formats since making a comeback into India’s limited-overs sides in 2017.

(Read | MS Dhoni ‘topper in university where I am still studying’ - Dinesh Karthik)

More than those eight balls

Asked how he felt pulling off the last-ball six, 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.”

(Read | Newly-appointed Kolkata Knight Riders captain Dinesh Karthik calls Virat Kohli his inspiration)

Karthik’s knock would have brought joy to Kolkata Knight Riders fans as well, the franchise he’s been chosen to lead for the coming edition of the Indian Premier League. Karthik was with the now defunct Gujarat Lions last season. KKR coughed up ₹7.8 crore to bag his services.

“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.”

First Published: Mar 24, 2018 21:23 IST