IPL 2022: I have bigger goals, Karthik reveals India ambition after magical 66 for RCB

Karthik's 34-ball 66 helped Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Delhi Capitals by 16 runs


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Dinesh Karthik of the Royal Challengers Bangalore plays a shot. (BCCI)
Dinesh Karthik of the Royal Challengers Bangalore plays a shot. (BCCI)

Published: Sun 17 Apr 2022, 12:14 AM

Dinesh Karthik smashed an unbeaten 66 to set up a convincing 16-run for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL match against Delhi Capitals on Saturday.

The in-form Karthik steered Bangalore to 189 for five with his 34-ball knock after Glenn Maxwell’s breezy 55 in the second match of the day in Mumbai.

Delhi, who are still searching for their maiden Indian Premier League title, could only muster 173-7 despite a 38-ball 66 from David Warner.

Karthik, a wicketkeeper-batter, stood out as he put on an unbeaten stand of 97 for the sixth wicket with Shahbaz Ahmed, who hit 32, as Bangalore plundered 69 runs from the last four overs.

He made full use of a dropped catch on five to tear into the opposition attack in the final 18 balls and smashed Mustafizur Rahman for four fours and two sixes in a 28-run 18th over.

The 36-year-old Karthik, whose last India appearance came in 2019, admitted that he was aiming to be back on the international stage ahead of this year’s T20 World Cup in Australia.

“I have bigger goals. I’ve been working really hard. My aim is to do something special for the country. This is part of my journey. I am doing everything I can to be part of the India team,” said Karthik after his match-winning knock on Saturday. “Feels good to know that people associate calmness with me. Positions and calmness comes from preparation.”

The veteran player then praised Shahbaz for his key contribution in the game. “Shahbaz is a special player, he will do special things as a player. He is up for a challenge. He can hit the ball a long way,” Karthik said. Meanwhile, RCB skipper Faf du Plessis was delighted with Karthik’s form.

“The way DK is playing at the moment, I may sound like a broken record, but he is playing the best he has ever. He is so clear, calm and composed,” Du Plessis said.

Bangalore lost their big guns including skipper Du Plessis for eight and Virat Kohli run out on 12 before Maxwell unleashed his power to lay the foundation for the total.

The Australia batter, nicknamed ‘Big Show’ for his extravagant strokeplay, took on left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav in one over to hit 23 runs before he fell to same bowler. In reply, Delhi faltered after Warner’s departure and Australian fast bowler Josh Hazlewood struck twice in one over including the big-hitting Rovman Powell for nought as wheels came off the chase.

Skipper Rishabh Pant attempted to hit back with his 17-ball 34 but became pace bowler Mohammed Siraj’s second wicket as Kohli leapt to take a stunning one-handed catch at cover.

Bangalore jumped to third in the 10-team table led by newcomers Gujarat Titans.

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