Lauderhill (Florida): Undoubtedly, wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik is having a rollicking year so far. After churning out consistent performances as a finisher for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in IPL 2022, Karthik made a comeback into India’s T20I squad since the series against South Africa in June.
Since his return, Karthik has featured in 13 T20Is, bringing out the required finishing acts and effectively sealing the finisher’s spot in the Indian team. In the first of the five-match T20I series against West Indies, Karthik slammed 41 off just 19 balls on a two-paced pitch, helping India post 190 on board and registering a 68-run win.
“Finisher role is one that it is very hard to be consistent. Every time you get in, you should be able to make an impact that will help the team. Obviously, do something special on that given day, that’s what I try to focus on. There are a lot of factors that can make it actually tougher for you, especially in the Caribbean and Miami.
“Wind will be a massive factor, even though it is a sport which is played with a heavy ball, a lot of times the wind dictates because it tends to carry to fielders and not cross the boundary line.
“On the other hand, the other side helps you to hit bigger sixes and play the shots. It works both ways, the bowlers are clever and they try to force you to hit into the wind as much as possible. That makes it much tougher as a batsman. Sometimes, when you are trying to manufacture shots, you may not get it right on a given day. But there are days you get it right and those days, you should make it count,” said Karthik ahead of the fourth T20I at Lauderhill Saturday.
Karthik further credited India’s team management, especially captain Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid, for giving him the necessary backing to be a reliable performer in the team.
“Extremely happy, this is what I have aimed for in my entire life. For the captain and coach to have so much belief in me, so it is only fair that I repay it back by giving performances that will help the team in many ways cross the line. That is what I have been trying to do. This is one of the happiest I have been being a part of the Indian team. The amount of love and affection I have got, not only from the team and the fans, but also the backing I have got from captain and coach.”
Karthik signed off by pointing out that the various conditions challenging the Indian team in their ongoing tour of the Caribbean will help the side in preparing well for facing a variety of grounds and conditions in the Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia in October-November.
“I think it is very interesting because even in the World Cup straightaway the three grounds that come to my mind are Sydney, the sides are slightly smaller and the straights are longer. Adelaide, we all know that the sides are very small and again, the straights are long, whereas in Melbourne, it’s the exact opposite — the straights are short and the sides are very big. So, obviously, we are going to be encountering different grounds wherever we are going to be playing, so the challenges are going to be different.
“Here, again, the challenges have been different in every venue where we have played. So, the fact that every time you get an opportunity, there’s a certain challenge that comes with just walking in. That is pressure by itself. One of the key things that Rohit and Rahul have spoken about in this series at the start was adaptability and understanding the situations. I think that is something we have done pretty well so far.”