Dinesh Karthik. What is that first thing that comes to your mind when you hear or read or watch the Tamil Nadu wicketkeeper-batsman? Is it that blurry image of an airborne 19-year-old flying horizontally to complete a sensational stumping of Michael Vaugh during his debut match in 2004? Or is it his mature yet swashbuckling 8-ball 29 which also included a last-ball six to help India win the Nidahas Trophy final in 2018? Or is it his multiple comebacks- some absolutely brilliant while others not quite so- during his 15-year-old career?
Well, to be absolutely honest, Dinesh Karthik is an enigma. He is the perfect amalgamation of all the above-mentioned facts. The Tamil Nadu wicketkeeper-batsman has been a part of a lot of memorable moments that Indian cricket has witnessed in the 21st century. He may have never nailed down a permanent place in the side due to the presence of the first-choice keeper in Mahendra Singh Dhoni, but Karthik also seemed to find himself in the right place at the right time. He was a part of India’s 2007 T20 World Cup and 2013 Champions Trophy-winning team.
Dinesh Karthik played a key role in India’s 2007 Test series win in England
Besides this Karthik is the only active Indian cricketer who has been a part of the winning Test team on English soil. That happened in the year 2007 and Karthik and his opening partner Wasim Jaffer played a crucial part in that win. Karthik and Jaffer consistently gave solid starts to Team India during that three-match Test series paving way for the famed middle-order to take over.
In six innings that they batted together, the duo racked up 322 runs at an average of 53.66. Karthik himself scored 263 runs in three Tests at an average of 43.
In the past few years, Karthik has remodeled himself as a finisher in the shortest format of the game but that is not to say that his First-Class performances dipped in the process. Consistent scores for Tamil Nadu was the reason way Karthik made his way back in the team a few seasons ago.
His Nidahas Trophy exploits helped him earn his spot in the Indian team in all the three formats but unfortunately, after a poor Test series in England and India’s 2019 World Cup spot, Karthik was dumped from the set-up and wasn’t even offered the annual contract by the BCCI.
Since July 2017, Dinesh Karthik has racked up 299 runs in 22 T20Is at an average of 59.80 and a strike-rate of 161.62. While chasing, he has scored 209 runs at an average of 104.50 and strike-rate of 155.9. In the same period, India won 8 out of 10 T20Is while chasing with him being in the playing XI.
Karthik is the kind of finisher that Team India needs in T20 cricket, and so it is baffling why he was dumped from the T20I set-up based on his performances in ODI cricket? Here’s wishing that the Indian cricketer, who is celebrating his 35th birthday today, gets one last chance to prove his worth in the set-up.
Meanwhile, Dinesh Karthik’s teammates are taking to their social media accounts to wish the Tamil Nadu wicketkeeper-batsman-
Here’s how Dinesh Karthik’s fellow teammates wished him on social media:
Many happy returns of the day @DineshKarthik ? May this year bring you loads of happiness and success.
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) June 1, 2020
— Suresh Raina?? (@ImRaina) June 1, 2020
Happy birthday @DineshKarthik. That 19th over assault on Rubel Hossain and that last ball six over cover off Soumya Sarkar in the Nidahas trophy final was just epic.
Since 2004, DK has played over 150 games for India! pic.twitter.com/f37K9Qz44r
— Joy Bhattacharjya (@joybhattacharj) June 1, 2020
— Kuldeep yadav (@imkuldeep18) June 1, 2020
— Vikram Sathaye (@vikramsathaye) June 1, 2020
Since our Under 19 days, @DineshKarthik 's birthday was always easy to remember. 1June! Many wonderful memories on and off the field. Enjoy the day ? my friend. #HappyBirthdayDK pic.twitter.com/ZG4k00WhNV
— R P Singh रुद्र प्रताप सिंह (@rpsingh) June 1, 2020
Happy Birthday @DineshKarthik
Best wishes and god bless.??
— Umesh Yaadav (@y_umesh) June 1, 2020
— BCCI (@BCCI) June 1, 2020
Happy Birthday Dino. Hope you have a great one with the fam. Cheers and god bless. ? @DineshKarthik
— K L Rahul (@klrahul11) June 1, 2020
Happy birthday @DineshKarthik Bless you.. have a good one ✅
— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) June 1, 2020
Many more happy returns of the day @DineshKarthik , have a great day and beyond.
— Ashwin ?? (@ashwinravi99) June 1, 2020
— Shikhar Dhawan (@SDhawan25) June 1, 2020