Dinesh Karthik: Tamil Nadu heading in the right direction

The wicketkeeper-batsman feels the team is primed for a good show in the Ranji Trophy.

Dinesh Karthik: “What we can take into [the] Ranji [Trophy] is the ability to handle pressure.”   -  B. Velankanni Raj

After having led Tamil Nadu to two straight finals in the Vijay Hazare and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, Dinesh Karthik feels Tamil Nadu is primed for a good show in the marquee tournament — the Ranji Trophy — as well. Karthik’s side begins its campaign with a contest against arch-rival Karnataka in Dindigul from Monday, December 9.

Karthik was speaking at an event to announce a tie-up between former India trainer Shankar Basu’s Primal Patterns and the Chennai Tennis Workshop; Primal Patterns is now its High-Performance Partner.

“We are a very good team and I think we can’t get a more focussed team than we have on the park now. We are heading in the right direction,” said the wicketkeeper-batsman.

Tamil Nadu lost a close final last week to Karnataka by one run. Karthik felt though it was an agonising loss, there were enough positives to take for the team going into the Ranji Trophy. “It was a very hard loss. At four balls five to win, it was our game to lose. If we had found a way to win, it would have been phenomenal for our cricket. Having said that, one thing we can learn is the ability to fight and the discipline we have shown. What we can take into Ranji is the ability to handle pressure because, after the first game in Super League, every game was a knockout one for us.”

‘Time for someone young’

Karthik also explained his decision not to be captain for the Ranji Trophy, saying, “I believe for so long we have had various captains, so now it is time to have someone young who can take [Tamil Nadu] forward. I think the captaincy should not be for just this year but for the next two-three years. We have a lot of young talents and it is important for these players to start thinking what’s the way [Tamil Nadu] should play to try to win the Ranji Trophy. If we give time, they will be able to do that.”

About his personal career and the current phase he was in, Karthik said, “I enjoy playing for [Tamil Nadu] and the best I can do is to play well for my State and try and win as many matches. Then when I go to the IPL, do well there and if and when I get selected for India, that will be the ultimate one. Everybody strives to play for that elusive team. I am trying very hard to be playing for Team India.”

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