The 2022 and 2023 seasons for cricket will be dominated by the T20 World Cup and 50-over World Cup respectively. But in the ongoing Indian Premier League season, 36-year-old Dinesh Karthik wants to put his name in the pool of players that could be selected to represent India for those elite events.
“I must admit I have a bigger goal,” Karthik said post-match, after receiving his second Player of the Match Award.
“I have been working really, really hard. Sometimes people don’t believe it. But my aim is to do something special for the country. This is part of the journey. I have been doing everything I can to be part of that Indian team. This is one step in that direction.”
So far, six matches into the season, he’s already starting to prove that he’s found a late surge in his career. He has a strike rate of 210 and has scored 197 runs so far - all this from playing a deeper batting role at No 7.
On Saturday he rescued the Royal Challengers Bangalore from 92 for 5, by coming up with a blistering unbeaten 66 from 34, that included five boundaries and just as many sixes, in the 16-run win over the Delhi Capitals.
Those are ferocious numbers from someone who tends to maintain a calm demeanour while batting.
“It’s good to know people associate calmness with me,” Karthik added.
“Generally they say I am a little restless. I must admit positions and calmness come from preparation. When you know how you are going to go about an innings, it gives you a chance to be calm. Apart from that, trying to stay in the moment even though it sounds a little cliched. It is very important for my batting.”
For the time being, the IPL has consumed his present. But he’s hoping his bat makes enough noise for selectors to take a punt with the veteran when it’s time to put up a team for the world events.
Karthik has represented India 26 times in Tests - the last coming in 2018 in a tour to England - and has won 96 ODI caps - the last coming at the 2019 World Cup in England.