Just before leaving for the South Africa tour Dinesh Karthik had said, “After a point in my career, I realized that it’s good to score runs but you are remembered a lot of because of the tournaments you’ve won and the number of times you’ve stood up [for your team] in big matches”. Three months later, he has accomplished precisely that.
Since he made his ODI debut against England in 2004 at the tender age of 19, Karthik has been dropped a number of times from the team but he has never lost hope. Rather every time that he has been sidelined, he has scored loads of runs in the domestic circuit and staged a strong comeback.
Nidahas Trophy was a crucial juncture in the life of the Tamil Nadu keeper. It could have taken his cricketing career either way. However, with a couple of impressive knocks in the tournament, Karthik has done his future prospects no harm. Here are three reasons why Dinesh Karthik was a hit in the Nidahas Trophy.
#1 Final flourish
Given a target of 167 by Bangladesh in the final of the Nidahas Trophy, India had a decent start owing to Rohit Sharma’s 56-run knock but lost their way in the middle overs after a couple of quick wickets.
Following Mustafizur Rahman’s incredible 18th over in which he conceded just one run and picked up the all-important wicket of Manish Pandey, India needed 34 runs to win off the last 12 deliveries when Dinesh Karthik came out to bat.
The 32-year old made his intentions clear on the very first ball he faced by clobbering a low full-toss from Rubel Hossain straight over his head for a massive six. He went on to score 29 runs off the 8 balls he faced, the highlight being his last ball six over covers to seal the game for the Men in Blue. Karthik deservingly walked away with the Man of the Match award for his brilliant effort.
#2 Clean glove work
In the absence of regular wicket-keeper MS Dhoni, Karthik did a great job of filling in the boots of the veteran keeper. The newly crowned KKR Captain effected 2 stumpings and grabbed 3 catches in the tournament while also contributing in one run-out.
The Tamil Nadu cricketer not only moved swiftly but also imparted some valuable tips to Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar from behind the wickets. Moreover, as Sundar and Karthik belong to the same state and play for the same franchise – TUTI Patriots – in the Tamil Nadu Premier League, Karthik’s presence was a great comforting factor for the young Sundar.
#3 Dinesh Review System
Ahead of the Nidahas Trophy, if anyone had doubts whether Dinesh Karthik, like MS Dhoni, would be able to help the team with the Decision Review System (DRS) or not, he put all speculations to rest.
In the last round-robin game against Bangladesh, Vijay Shankar bowled a short pitched delivery outside the off stump as Mushfiqur Rahim danced down the wicket to make room for himself. Rahim tried to swing hard but all he managed was a faint bottom edge on the ball on its way to Karthik behind the stumps.
As soon as Karthik realized that the umpire’s decision had not gone in his favour, he, in true Dhoni fashion, asked for a review even before skipper Rohit Sharma could make up his mind. The Ultra edge clearly showed that Rahim had nicked the ball and the decision had to be reversed. So, after the Dhoni review system, it was time for the Dinesh review system.