I am feeling very secure in this set-up, says Karthik

The batsman credits coach Rahul Dravid and says the dressing room is a calm place right now



The finisher: India’s Dinesh Karthik is enjoying the atmosphere in the dressing room and credited coach Rahul Dravid. — PTI
The finisher: India’s Dinesh Karthik is enjoying the atmosphere in the dressing room and credited coach Rahul Dravid. — PTI

By PTI

Published: Sat 18 Jun 2022, 11:35 PM

A total of 155 international games across formats in 18 years since his debut doesn’t do justice to Dinesh Karthik’s immense potential but it has perhaps got to do with the insecurities that crop up with sporadic chances over the years.

Having played a big role in India’s series-levelling 82-run win against South Africa, Karthik attributes performances like 27-ball-55 to a sense of security and clarity in thought process.

“Just feels good,’ he said about the innings.

“I am feeling very secure in this set-up. In the last game, things didn’t go according to plan, but I went and expressed myself today,” Karthik said at the post-match presentation ceremony. He gave a lot of credit to coach Rahul Dravid.

“Credit to Rahul Dravid; there is a certain sense of calmness. The dressing room is a calm place right now. It is important to learn to embrace the pressure. It feels secure and fuzzy. That clarity and the environment helped.”

Having played India’s inaugural T20 game in 2006, coincidentally against the Proteas and also a ‘Player of the match’ award back then, Karthik is now more clear about his role in the team.

“I think DK is thinking a little better. He is able to assess situations better and that comes with practice,” he said.

Karthik is happy that the series has gone down to the wire.

“It is good to see a bilateral series going down to the final match. To see the pressure being absorbed in the third and fourth games was something we would relish.”

Karthik’s junior and team’s skipper Rishabh Pant was all praise for both Hardik Pandya and Karthik’s game-changing stand after being reduced to 56 for 3 in 10 overs.

“We talked about execution and playing better cricket and here are the results. Really happy with the way Hardik put up a show. DK went for the kill right away and that gave us the positivity.”

He did admit that he needs to improve upon his own batting.

“As an individual, I can look to improve in certain areas. Not too concerned though. Looking to take the positives and looking to improve. Let’s see what happens in Bangalore. Looking forward to giving our 100%.” South African stand-in captain Keshav Maharaj blamed it on a lack of adaptability from his side.

“Obviously, didn’t go according to plan in the last few overs (while bowling), but we felt the pitch got a bit better at the end. It is the lack of adaptability on our side. We need to be a bit more proactive.”

Hardik Pandya (left) and Dinesh Karthik. — BCCI
Hardik Pandya (left) and Dinesh Karthik. — BCCI

Karthik an inspiration, says Pandya

India’s star all-rounder Hardik Pandya has expressed his admiration for Karthik, saying his resurrection from obscurity is an inspiration for many in and outside the team.

During a chat with Karthik, the video of which has been uploaded by the BCCI on its website, Pandya recalled his past conversations with the seasoned campaigner, who is going through a dream run with the bat.

“I need to tell you this, genuinely I want to tell you this, you have given a lot of inspiration to many guys in their life. I remember the conversation you were having when you were not in the scheme of things, a lot of people counted you out,” Pandya told Karthik during the chat.

India were struggling at 81-4 in the 13th over when stand-in skipper Pant was dismissed for 17. It brought Karthik and Pandya together and the pair revived the Indian innings with a brisk partnership of 65 runs.

“I remember those conversations. You told me then that my goal is to play for India again and the goal is to play this World Cup, I am going to give it my everything, and seeing you achieve that is very inspirational. A lot of people are going to learn new things. Well done my brother, very proud of you,” Pandya said.

Karthik smashed nine fours and two sixes in his entertaining 55-run knock, Pandya made 46 off 31 balls to prop up the India innings.

The series decider will be played at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Sunday.


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