Indian cricketer Dinesh Karthik has been selected in India’s T20 squad for their upcoming series against South Africa. Karthik will be on international duty for the Indian team after three years, after he was dropped from the squad back in 2019.
The RCB star, who has been one of the best finishers in the IPL 2022 season so far, was extremely happy after the announcement. He took to social media and posted an old picture of himself in the Indian jersey, captioning it, “If you believe yourself, everything will fall into place! Thank you for all the support and belief...the hard work continues...”
Karthik’s call-up to the Indian team comes following his current form in the ongoing IPL. RCB has qualified for the playoffs of IPL 2022 with Karthik being one of the key players in the team's campaign. In league stage, he scored 287 runs at an average of 57.40 and strike-rate of 191.33.
Even though Karthik has only scored one half-century in this season so far, he has been an excellent finisher for the team and a valuable player during the team’s death overs.
He also has the second-best batting average of 57.40 in this IPL season. Due to his power hitting and match-winning knocks for RCB, Karthik has been recognised by the Indian selectors and hence included in India’s upcoming T20 squad.
'Most Special Comeback'
His IPL franchise RCB too posted a video of him reacting to the selection.
"Very happy, very, very satisfying, must say that this has been probably my most special comeback, because a lot of people had given up on me. For me to come back and do what I did, practice the way I did with my coach (Abhishek) Nayar, so many special things that have happened in the lead-up to the auction, and how I practised post that," said Karthik in a video posted by the franchise on their social media accounts.
Karthik expressed gratitude to Bangalore head coach Sanjay Bangar and director of cricket Mike Hesson for entrusting him with finishing duties. "A lot of credit also to Sanjay Bangar and Mike Hesson, I think the clarity that they gave me to execute the role that I wanted to do, in many ways (I am) indebted to RCB for picking me and giving me that role, believing in me and then me coming out here and trying to do my best for this team RCB. All in all, a very, very happy feeling. I am very excited overall."
Karthik, set to turn 37 next week, was quick in crediting the selection committee, skipper Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid for selecting him and the skillsets he brings to the team despite many young contenders present in the country.
"Look, I think a lot of credit must go to the selectors, Rohit (Sharma) and (Rahul) Dravid, because these days you have so many young boys putting up their hands for selection. To see the skillset that is there and to believe that this is the guy we need for the (Men's T20) World Cup, it is a very, very humbling feeling. I know the journey is still there to the World Cup but being a part of the scheme of things and giving an opportunity for me to showcase my skills, I am very proud of it."
Despite picking up the commentator's mic during India's Test tour of England and World Test Championship final, Karthik's self-belief and never giving up on making a comeback into the national fold resulted in dishing out consistent performances and eventually, he was rewarded with the call-up for T20Is against the Proteas on Sunday.
"I think I started believing for a long time now, I was always believing but people around me gave me the feel that you should not dream too much. I took up the role of a commentator for a bit and obviously that made it look like I was no more interested in trying to come back to the Indian team. But I have always said that for me, playing in the Indian team is the priority. Because I had time, I did it (commentary) and I am very excited about it (on being in India's T20I team)," concluded the right-hander.
(With inputs from IANS)