Royal Challengers Bangalore wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik has been in fine form in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022, averaging more than 57 with a strike-rate of over 190. It was the prime reason behind the right-handed batter earning a call-up to India’s T20I squad after three years. On Sunday, the selectors named Karthik in the squad for the upcoming five-match T20I series against South Africa, beginning June 9 in Delhi. Talking about his inclusion, Karthik said that it is his “most special comeback” and he is feeling very happy.
“Very happy. Very satisfying, I must say that this has been probably my most special comeback because you know, a lot of people had given up on me and for me to come back and to do what I did and practice the way I did with my coach Abhishek Nayar and so many special things that have happened in the leadup to the auction and how I practiced post that. A lot of credit also to Sanjay Bangar and Mike Hesson, the clarity they gave me for me to execute the role I wanted to do. I am in many ways indebted to RCB for picking me and believing in me and then me coming out here and trying to do my best for RCB which is a special franchise so all in all, a very happy feeling,” Karthik said in a video posted on official Twitter handle of RCB.
We spoke to @DineshKarthik, soon after he was named in the Indian T20I squad for the SA series, and he spoke about his self-belief, hours and days of preparation, and the role RCB played in him staging a comeback, only on @KreditBee presents Bold Diaries.#PlayBold #TeamIndia pic.twitter.com/phW0GaBlSx
— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) May 23, 2022
Karthik also shed light on how taking the role of a commentator last year made it look like he was no longer interested in playing for India, but his priority was to always represent the national side.
“I think a lot of credit must go to the selectors, Rohit and Dravid because these days there are so many young boys putting up their names for selection, to see the skillset and then believe this is the guy we need for World Cup is very humbling feeling. I know the journey is still there to the World Cup, but to be a part of the scheme of things and getting an opportunity to showcase my skills, I am very proud of it and I think I started believing obviously for a long time now,” said Karthik.
“I was always believing but people around me obviously gave me a feel that you should not dream too much and I took up the role of a commentator for a bit and that obviously made it look like I am not interested in trying to make a comeback to the Indian team but I have always said that for me playing in Indian team is priority,” he added.
So far, in the ongoing IPL season, Karthik has scored 287 runs in 14 matches at an average of 57.40 and a strike-rate of 191.33, playing a key role in RCB making it to the play-offs.
In the 2018 Nidahas Trophy final against Bangladesh, Dinesh Karthik had scored 29 runs off eight balls to help India register a win and that remains one of the best knocks of the wicketkeeper-batter. Karthik would hope to play the same role, come the T20I series against South Africa.
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