Dubai: Dinesh Karthik through his consistent performances has won a place in the Indian team for the Champions Trophy.
Though he comes in place of Manish Pandey who has been ruled out with a left-side strain, Karthik deserves his place and should have been an automatic selection instead of being placed among the standbyes.
Karthik was part of India’s victorious 2013 Champions Trophy campaign and has always done well in English conditions. He was India’s leading scorer in the Test tour of England in 2007.
Unfortunately his form took a beating but he came back strongly at the domestic level but failed to get the nod from the selectors.
He did not lose hope and kept performing and ensured the selectors watched him.
He scored a whopping 704 runs from 2016-17 Ranji Trophy matches with one hundred and five fifties. If that was not enough, he piled up big scores in Vijay Hazare and Deodhar Trophy tournaments.
Even in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) he was Gujarat Lions’ second-highest run getter piling up 361 runs and ensured his bat did the talking.
Though his last One Day International was in 2014, Karthik persistently kept fighting for his place.
Being a wicketkeeper-batsman, winning a place in the squad wasn’t easy with Mahendra Singh Dhoni occupying the slot for years.
Karthik focused his attention on his batting to be purely considered as a batsman.
He won his place in the T20 Indian team — despite Dhoni being the wicketkeeper — through his batting, especially his ability to open the innings and bat at any order.
Karthik’s success as a player has always been a big boost for youngsters who live in the Gulf. Like them, Karthik was a Non Resident Indian (NRI) during his school days. He lived in Kuwait and learnt the basics of the game while living there.
Speaking to Gulf News during a visit to Dubai for a get-together organised by G Force Academy, he said. “I lived in Kuwait during my schooling days but still I made it to the Indian team. It is all about working hard with determination.”
Karthik emphatically believed that wherever a cricketer lives has no role in his success if the player is determined. “I studied in Kuwait till the eighth standard. It is wrong to believe that because you are staying out of India that you may not make it to the Indian team.”
Karthik came up the hard way, performing consistently and displaying his talent in the 2004 Under-19 World Cup. The same year he got picked for the India ODI team against England at Lord’s. Karthik carries with him the experience of 71 One day matches and 23 Test matches and nine Twenty20 Internationals. He also has a century in Test cricket against Bangladesh.
By getting the selectors to pick him for the Champions Trophy, Karthik has boosted the morale of many domestic cricketers who are knocking at the doors of the Indian team. He rose to be a giant among domestic cricketers and is today a symbol of a cricketer with a never say die attitude. After Dhoni announced his retirement in 2014, many thought Karthik would step into Dhoni’s shoes. However, it was Wriddhiman Saha who was preferred yet Karthik never gave up and today he is in the Indian team purely due to his determination and hard work.