Former Indian cricketers back Dinesh Karthik’s inclusion in the Test team
DK was named the replacement for Saha in the Afghanistan Test squad.
Updated - Jun 3, 2018 2:57 pm
There is a time in every cricketer’s career when he peaks. The problem with most is, they peak at the wrong time, but not Dinesh Karthik. The 33-year-old made his international debut back in 2004 and to date has only played 23 Test, 79 ODIs and 20 T20Is out of which he’s played 8 ODIs in the last one year. A stop and start career doesn’t mean Karthik isn’t a fit for the highest level.
The fact that MS Dhoni got in and literally owned the wicketkeeper’s spot in the Indian team since his debut didn’t let Karthik or any other keeper in the likes of Parthiv Patel and even Wriddhiman Saha get into the teams. All this while DK worked hard in domestic cricket kept himself motivated and answered the call whenever there was one from the national selectors.
He has now been picked in the Indian Test team as a replacement for Saha who is injured and ruled out of the Afghanistan match. What has worked in DK’s favour is the fact that he’s played some wonderful knocks as a pure batsman in limited-overs cricket, led the Kolkata Knight Riders from the front in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and maintained his rich form with the bat and continues to be a safe man behind the stumps.
Deep Dasgupta back’s DK for Tests
However, the last time he played a Test match was in January 2010. But former cricketer and experts feel Karthik is the best choice for the position, in fact, they would want to opt for him even if Saha was fit.
“Although Karthik hasn’t played a Test for a long time now, he has played enough to know what Test cricket is. Most importantly, he seems to be in a very good space both physically and mentally. He has been brilliant in white-ball cricket for India in the last few months and also took on the responsibility of leading a big side like KKR in the IPL.
I believe he also realises that this could well be the last opportunity for him and will want to make use of this. I have no doubt in my mind that he is ready to take this opportunity,” former Indian wicketkeeper Deep Dasgupta told TOI on Saturday.
Friend and mentor Nayar’s help
One of the key elements in Karthik’s re-emergence at the highest level is guidance from his mentor Abhishek Nayar, a former Mumbai and India cricketer. The dip have worked on his physical game as well as his mental state. Ahead of the Afghanistan Test, Nayar will join DK in Bangalore and they will prepare for a week leading into the Test.
“A Test recall means the world to him. When we started working together, we didn’t dream or imagine that he could get back into Test cricket. We were realistic with IPL and stuff. I think we will get together and start working from June 6 in Bengaluru. So he will have a good week or so to prepare leading into the Test,” Nayar was quoted as saying by TOI.