Dinesh Karthik is one of India’s most talented wicket-keeper batsman and has represented the country in 26 Tests between 2004 and 2018. In an exclusive with Cricketnext (News 18), Karthik stated he was grateful for the chance to represent India in the premier format of the game and he was delighted to be one of the very few to have got that honour. He also spoke about the opportunities he got and his journey in international cricket.
Karthik made his Test debut against Australia in Mumbai in 2004 and played his last in whites for India at Lord’s in 2018. He scored 1025 runs in 26 Tests for the country at an average of 25 with one hundred and seven fifties.
Karthik stated that he was lucky and happy to be one of only 302 Test cricketers in a country of 1.3 billion people. Overall, he has represented India in 152 international matches which include 126 limited overs matches.
“I am very happy with how my career has taken shape. I have always been someone who has been very satisfied and have been very grateful to have played this sport, because in India, for the billion-plus population that has been over a period of time, only 302 have played (Tests) for the country, and to be a part of that is something really special. I am really, really happy. There are so many things to be happy about playing this sport. At the start of my career, all I wanted to do was play one game for my country. To have played 150-plus overall, I am very happy. It has been a terrific journey for me, wearing the India blues," quoted Karthik.
Karthik’s career coincided with Dhoni’s and the latter’s rise and his own form meant that he did not get a consistent run in the Indian team across formats. But DK was not too fussed about the issue and was grateful for whatever chances he got to play for the country.
“As I said, in a journey that has spanned over 15-16 years, just to be a part of the Indian team over a period of time and playing all the three formats, there are so many reasons for me to be happy about myself and the efforts I have put in. I have always told myself that only I know the amount of effort I put in and whatever I did over a period of time to get those opportunities. I did everything I could, sometimes these things work, some other times they don’t. What is important is when you lie down on your bed, you should get good sleep knowing that you have given it everything and I can proudly say I have definitely done that."
Karthik added that his aim now was to focus on the T20 format and play in the two successive World T20s - in India in 2021 and Australia in 2022. He stated that he was fit and raring to go.
“I will continue playing as long as I am fit. I can see myself playing for another three-four years. Touchwood, if my fitness is as it is and if I continue to contribute with the bat, I see no reason as to why I shouldn’t be playing. These days, there are so many fitness tests and the rate at which they have the fitness tests, they remove the age out of the equation. What they want to see is not the age but how fit you are. My aim is to play for the country in the T20 World Cups. There are back-to-back T20 World Cups, this year and the next year, and I am doing everything I can to be a part of that," said Karthik.