India defeated New Zealand 2-1 in the ODI series and then won the T20 series by the same margin as well.
Dinesh Karthik who was making a comeback to the senior national side made significant contributions to the team’s success in the first and the second ODI. Karthik scored an impressive 37 in the first game, and then a match-winning inning of 64* in the second match.
The wicket-keeper batsman played as a batsman in the series, as MS Dhoni is India’s first choice keeper and will remain for the upcoming tours. Karthik who was given a chance to bat at the number four position impressed in the New Zealand series and knows that he needs to perform and cash on whatever opportunities he gets to bat at the position to cement his place in the team. Karthik also admitted that this could be his last comeback,
“Maybe it is (the last of comebacks), but I have not looked at it that way,” Karthik told PTI. “If you start thinking on those lines (future in the team), you put extra pressure on yourself. I am satisfied with the way I batted in ODI series against New Zealand and would aim to do the same whenever I get the next opportunity.”
Karthik has scored in bulk in the domestic circuit over the years, and he knows that he needs to build upon the performances against the Kiwis in the upcoming series against Sri Lanka,
“In terms of feelers (for the future) from the team management, nothing has been communicated. But regarding my batting, I did have a long chat with Ravi bhai (Shastri). He was happy with my batting against New Zealand, but he said there are still areas where I can improve upon, especially maintaining the tempo of the innings since he feels I have all the shots. I agree with him, and that is what I would look to do,”
Karthik made his international debut in 2004 under the captaincy of Sourav Ganguly, and since then he had played under three other captains (Rahul Dravid, MS Dhoni and now Virat Kohli) in the Indian team and had seen Indian cricket change over this period of 13 to 15 years. Talking about Kohli, he said,
“With a leader like Virat, who has absolutely got it spot on in terms of fitness, he has built his lifestyle around it. The team members are learning a lot from that, and they can see the exceptional performances he has been able to give in the last 5-6 years. It has trickled down to the players.”
Talking about the much hype around the ‘Yo-Yo’ he said,
“The current benchmark is pretty achievable. Anybody who puts in a bit of effort can reach that mark. There is nothing earth-shattering about it. It only starts getting tougher from 17.5 onwards. There has been a lot of hue-and-cry about it, but it is pretty achievable for most sportsmen,”
Apart from this, Karthik also talked about Abhishek Nayar, and how he contributed towards his success on the international scale.
“I would not be where I am without Abhishek Nayar. Working with him is an ongoing process. We discuss a lot about the game, mostly on the phone since we are both busy playing. Before the New Zealand series, he advised me to show intent from ball one, be very aggressive.” Karthik said.