Dinesh Karthik: "Not thinking too far ahead for the World Cup"

Dinesh Karthik's last-ball six to win the 2018 Nidahas Trophy won him a new legion of fans and burnished his credentials as a finisher.

Dinesh Karthik is back in the Tamil Nadu squad ahead of its Ranji Trophy match against Kerala. (FILE IMAGE)   -  K. Pichumani

Dinesh Karthik has had a rollercoaster year as he calls it having successfully clawed his way back into the national side establishing himself as a finisher in the shorter formats.

While he had good knocks in both the T20 and ODI formats prior to December last year, his last-ball six to win the 2018 Nidahas Trophy in Sri Lanka won him a new legion of fans and burnished his credentials as a finisher.

After another good outing at the T20 series in Australia, Karthik is back to be a part of the Tamil Nadu squad ahead of its Ranji Trophy match against Kerala.

Speaking to reporters, Karthik said, “It’s been up and down. It’s not been easy but that’s how international cricket is. It’s not going to come easily to you. You have to fight for it and keep getting better at doing all your skills well.”

Elaborating on his finishing skills, Karthik said it is something he is working on. “ I have been putting myself in situations where I can practise that. Things have been coming out well in those kinds of tense situations. It’s a very important aspect of batting in limited-overs cricket and it’s something I am focusing on," he explained.

In the last year, Karthik also made a comeback to the Test squad playing three matches but has since been dropped from the side and also lost his place in the one-day squad for the West Indies series with some intense competition for berths.

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When asked what went wrong in England, the wicketkeeper-batsman said, “There were some tough conditions I played in. I think from both teams, no one other than Virat (Kohli) managed to do well in the first Two tests. With us being 0-2 down, there had to be some changes and the axe fell on me. I have taken it in the right stride. I have realised it’s important to keep improving as a player. It’s those kinds of tough situations where I need to stand up.” 

However, Karthik is not daunted by the constant chopping and changing saying, “When there is healthy competition, you have to keep improving your skill to be part of the set-up. That’s what it pushes you to do. But if you are not mentally strong, it will push you so far down that it will be hard to get back up there.”

With the World Cup on the horizon in six months, Karthik knows he has a genuine shot at making the cut but he prefers not to think too far ahead. 

“I am not thinking too far ahead for the World Cup because as soon as I start thinking about it, you put more pressure than what is already there.”

“I am always looking for an opportunity that is coming my way but selection is not in my hand. My job is to do keep doing well in whatever match I am playing. So up next is the three Ranji matches and my next endeavour is to help Tamil Nadu because if we are to qualify we need to something special,” Karthik added.