Indian wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik attested that the duo of MS Dhoni and Rahul Dravid had backed him at the start of his career. Karthik made his India comeback in the ICC Champions Trophy in 2017 and remained a member of the team till the 2019 World Cup semi-final against New Zealand.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik made his debut back in 2004 during India’s home Test series against Australia. The Tamil Nadu batsman was touted as the next wicket-keeper batsman for India in the mid-2000’s but then came MS Dhoni, and he cemented his position in the team. From there on, Karthik was selected in the team as a middle-order batsman and later in 2007, was asked to open the innings for India in England. Karthik aggregated 263 runs against England in the 2007 series with an average of 43.83 from six innings.
The Indian veteran stated that he was asked by MS Dhoni to open the batting for the team at that time based on his performances in domestic cricket. Karthik also reminisced how MS Dhoni and senior batsman Rahul Dravid had backed him.
“I never brood over things. My nature has always been – what is next? That has always been my constant question to myself. At that point, it was to become a batter. There was a spot in the middle-order and then as opener. One thing that people, including Dhoni, would say – ‘you’re so talented as a batsman, you can open’. So that gave me a lot of confidence and then Rahul Dravid also said you have the skills to be a pure batter. So I went to domestic cricket, scored lots of runs, then got an opportunity as an opener and did well,” Karthik said on Aakash Chopra’s Youtube channel, reported HT.
The Tamil Nadu cricketer never had an opportunity to stand behind the stumps with wicket-keeping gloves on after the arrival of MS Dhoni. Karthik reckoned that Dhoni’s presence in the team changed the face of Indian cricket and stated that the former captain was a once-in-a-generation cricketer.
“When Dhoni came in, he took the complete country by storm and I knew that door was closed. Keeper-batsman is always a decade-long job. Syed Kirmani was there, then Kiran More. Dhoni was a once-in-a-generation kind of a cricketer. Take Ian Healy or Adam Gilchrist, if you are a good keeper, you are there for 10-12 years.”
At the age of 36, Karthik’s chances of making a comeback to the national side look grim. He was dropped from the Indian squad after the World Cup Semi-final against New Zealand in 2019. At present, he’s working with Sky Sports in the capacity of a cricket expert.