Vijay Hazare Trophy: Dinesh Karthik to lead Tamil Nadu

Chief selector M Senthilnathan said that Karthik was chosen keeping his experience in mind and his ability to motivate the players, having led various teams, including the KKR in the IPL.

Dinesh Karthik during a media interaction. (File Photo)   -  AP

There is this burning desire within Dinesh Karthik to make a winning difference to the State side. He is passionate about Tamil Nadu cricket.

Karthik's commitment is indisputable. He who would, after a late night finish of an India game, catch the early morning flight and be available for his State side in the morning.

After appointing Karthik the captain of the Tamil Nadu team for the Vijay Hazare championship this season, chairman of selectors M. Senthilnathan told Sportstar, “Dinesh has the ability to get the best out of the youngsters. He is a wonderful movivator. In fact, Dinesh is a great bridge between the seniors and the younger bunch.”

Senthilnathan’s words are not surprising. In fact, there is a buzz around the Tamil Nadu team, that vibrancy, when Karthik is around.

He’s also someone who’s candid and forthright. The 34-year-old wicket-keeper batsman soon after his appointment, said “We need to look at our feeder system. The cricketers are just not coming through from the under-19 level who can put pressure on the seniors.”

Karthik drove home his point, “In the last four years Washington Sundar is the only cricketer to emerge along with Vijay Shankar who is older. Presently there is none from Tamil Nadu in the India under-19 team despite a good first division league.”

In fact, the last time Tamil Nadu won the Vijay Harare and Deodhar Trophies, in 2016-17, the tournaments were won almost single-handedly by Karthik’s batting brilliance.

Now, as skipper, he seeks a collective effort. “We need to be good in the middle overs, both with the bat and the ball. We need to run hard, collect singles and twos. And we have to pick wickets during the middle phase.”

Karthik said Tamil Nadu batsmen have to improve “mentally” to tide over difficult situations.

About the pace attack, he said, “We have T. Natarajan and K. Vignesh, but I want them fit. I am excited about G. Periaswamy.”

On spinners, he noted “We have R. Ashwin and Washington Sundar as off-spinners, we have some good left-armers and mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy will walk into the side once he is fit. We still need a couple of good wrist spinners. I hope Murugan Ashwin comes good.”

About working with coach D. Vasu, Karthik said, “We have had some generic discussions before. Hoping for a fruitful association.“

Karthik wants a trophy triumph. Knowing the man, nothing else would do.