‘You’re so talented as a batsman, you can open’: Karthik narrates how Dhoni and Dravid motivated him to focus on batting
Dinesh Karthik has been in and out of the Indian team for more than a decade. The wicket-keeper batsman was thought about as the next wicket-keeper batsman for India in the mid-2000s but MS Dhoni came about and cemented his spot in the team. Karthik continued to play for India in the subsequent years mainly due to his batting. He was also asked to open the innings for India during the 2007 England tour.
Karthik scored 263 runs during the Test series and was India’s highest run-getter against England. Karthik averaged 43.83 in 6 innings with 3 fifties. Karthik talked about his career with former India batsman Aakash Chopra and he narrated how Dhoni and Rahul Dravid motivated him to focus on his batting skills.
“I never brood over things. My nature has always been - what is next? That has always been my constant question to myself. At that point, it was to become a batter. There was a spot in the middle-order and then as opener. One thing that people, including Dhoni, would say - ‘you’re so talented as a batsman, you can open’. So that gave me a lot of confidence and then Rahul Dravid also said you have the skills to be a pure batter. So I went to domestic cricket, scored lots of runs, then got an opportunity as an opener and did well,” Karthik said on Chopra’s Youtube Channel.
Karthik also said that when Dhoni 'took the complete country by storm', he knew that the wicketkeeper position is closed.
“When Dhoni came in, he took the complete country by storm and I knew that door was closed. Keeper-batsman is always a decade-long job. Syed Kirmani was there, then Kiran More. Dhoni was a once-in-a-generation kind of a cricketer. Take Ian Healy or Adam Gilchrist, if you are a good keeper, you are there for 10-12 years.”