He has put up consistent performances in the T20 format, the Nidahas Trophy blitz being the highlight, but Dinesh Karthik’s ultimate goal is to lift the upcoming T20 World Cup. The seasoned wicketkeeper-batter was picked for the showpiece event in Australia as India named a star-studded 15-member squad on Monday. The Rohit Sharma-led side picked two wicketkeepers – Rishabh Pant, who gives India the option of playing a free-moving left-handed batter and Karthik, who dons the crucial role of a finisher where he has little time to get his eyes in.
At 37, Karthik has been providing the late impetus to the Indian innings. He was a part of the team that won the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007 but saw a seven-year stretch from 2010 to 2017 that didn’t give him a single T20 game. The Tamil Nadu cricketer currently has a defined role, having revelled in his new batting task in the final few overs.
On being picked in the T20 World Cup squad, Karthik shared a heartwarming tweet, which rightly captures his journey over the past few months. “Dreams do come true,” he wrote.
“The bigger vision is that I want to play for the country. I know there is a World Cup around the corner. I want to be part of that World Cup desperately and help India cross that line,” Karthik had said during his stellar IPL 2022 run with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).
“It’s been a long time since India won a multi-nation tournament. I want to be that person who is helping India do that. For that, you need to be aware of so many things, try and be that player who people think ‘hey this guy is doing something special.
“Every day I practice with that intent in my mind. Credit to my coach who has put me through so many drills to make sure I get the best out of myself. As you grow older, it’s important to stay fit. I have tried my best to do it,” he had added.
India begin their World T20 campaign with an October 23 blockbuster against arch-rivals Pakistan in Melbourne. The hotly-anticipated game will also have Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel, as India welcomed back the pair in their pace mix. India’s top four batters remained unchanged with captain Rohit, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav.
Seasoned Ravichandran Ashwin was also picked as the second spinner, behind Yuzvendra Chahal. The fast bowling duo of Mohammed Shami and Deepak Chahar, middle order batter Shreyas Iyer and leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi have been kept on standby.
India T20 World Cup squad: Rohit Sharma (captain), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Arshdeep Singh.
Standby: Mohammed Shami, Shreyas Iyer, Ravi Bishnoi, Deepak Chahar.