Dinesh Karthik was one of the many wicketkeeper-batsmen tried by the Indian team management during the Sourav Ganguly era. He was also Team India’s number one gloves man for a short time before the arrival of Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Karthik’s cricket career has been full of ups and downs. However, despite the limited opportunity handed to him, the Tamil Nadu cricketer performed reasonably well with the bat as well standing behind the stumps.
And as the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) stumper celebrates his 36th birthday; here are some interesting stats about Karthik:
Father’s support: Karthik’s father always encouraged him to follow his dream. Karthik’s dad Krishna Kumar was also the reason behind his initial interest in cricket. Krishna himself was a cricketer and represented Chennai in first-division cricket. However, later he shifted his focus to academics. And Krishna made sure that Karthik does not suffer the same fate as him.
At a very young age, his father introduced him to the leather ball and the duo often played catch with each other in their backyard. Krishna also helped in honing Karthik’s reflexes and catching skills.
First-class debut: Karthik made his first-class debut for Tamil Nadu in 2002 against Baroda as a wicket-keeper batsman. He walked to bat at number eight and scored 37 runs.
International debut: Much like his career, even Karthik’s debut was topsy-turvy. He made his ODI debut against England at the iconic Lord’s stadium in 2004. In his debut match, he dropped Michael Vaughan’s catch off Anil Kumble’s bowling. However, he later became the talk of the town after affecting a leg-side stumping to dismiss Vaughan off Harbhajan Singh’s bowling.
First from India to win the Man of the Match award in T20Is: Dinesh Karthik was the first Indian cricketer to win the player of the match award in T20Is. He achieved this feat during India’s first T20 match against South Africa in 2006. Batting at number five, Karthik scored 31 runs off 28 balls as India won the match by six wickets.
IPL auction: In the 2014 IPL auction, Karthik was the second costliest player after Delhi Daredevils bought him for Rs 12.5 crores. In the next auction, he was bought by Royal Challengers Bangalore for Rs 10.5 crores.
Reality show: Karthik had participated in a dance reality show “Ek Khiladi Ek Hasina” with India TV actress Nigaar Khan.