With hope of Team India comeback, Dinesh Karthik eyes MS Dhoni-esque finishing role
Since India’s heartbreaking exit from the ICC World Cup 2019, Dinesh Karthik has found himself out of the Indian team following a couple of horror outings in the showpiece event in England and Wales. But the experienced wicketkeeper-batsman hasn’t lost hope and is silently performing with swagger in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy.
Karthik is confident that he will be back in the reckoning for the forthcoming ICC World T20, scheduled to be played in Australia in 2020, if he can keep performing in the domestic circuit. Karthik is also eyeing a finisher’s role in the team, similar to what MS Dhoni has done for the Men in Blue for more than a decade.
Karthik has played some blinders in the Vijay Hazare Trophy and will be looking to continue his sensational run of form when Tamil Nadu take to the field for the knockouts of the prestigious tournament. Karthik has, so far, scores of – 52*, 95, 97, 40, 65* - under his belt in the Vijay Hazare Trophy and all have come in a blazing fashion.
Karthik is of the view that Team India is still looking for someone who can finish out matches and provide experience down the order. The 34-year-old further said he has played the role of the finisher for India in T20Is, Kolkata Knight Riders and Tamil Nadu and can do the same if given a chance.
"It's [The T20 World Cup] a year away but if I feel I can keep performing and have a good [domestic] tournament, I'm sure I will go out there and play," Karthik said ahead of the Vijay Hazare knockouts while adding, "because, I feel it's a key part that the Indian team is looking out as well - closing out matches and have someone who can understand those situations and do the best at that point of time.
On his absence from Team India since the ICC World Cup 2019, Karthik said the selectors clubbed the poor run at the World Cup with the T20 format and dropped him while emphasising he is well-suited to play the role Dhoni has played for so many years.
"And I feel I've done that in the short time I'd played T20s [for India]. But, post the World Cup, I didn't play; they clubbed it [poor run at the World Cup] with the T20 part of it and removed me from the team as well. But I feel that I'm well-suited to play that role Dhoni has played for so many years now. I feel I can do something like that and I've been doing that for KKR and Tamil Nadu. So, if a slot opens up there, that's something I'll be really looking forward to. The T20 World Cup is definitely something I'd want to play."
With so many youngsters coming through the ranks and the likes of Ravindra Jadeja performing at his peak, it would be interesting to see whether Karthik gets another chance in the blues. The domestic season and Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 will be crucial for Karthik if he wants to make another comeback into the Indian team.