Dinesh Karthik has played enough cricket for India to know a thing or two about the national team and its players.
Ahead of the T20 international series against Sri Lanka, starting at the Barabati Stadium here on Wednesday, Karthik – who has donned India colours in all three formats over 13 years – said the present set of youngsters, some of whom might make their debut in the coming days, were quite matured.
“All of them have come with a lot of IPL experience – some have played 20 some 30 games. They are not as perturbed as they used to be in earlier days. It gives them a lot of confidence to come into the international set-up... As senior players, we just try and help these young guys,” said 32-year-old Karthik.
“It's a great opportunity for all the young boys. For a lot of them, it's the first time they are there in the Indian team. I'm very confident that they will make best use of the chances given to them.”
Asked about Kerala pacer Basil Thampi, Karthik said, “He's a talented player. He is sharp, bowls quick and can his execute yorkers very consistently. That's probably one of his biggest strengths. He has good slower balls as well. He has all the ammunition required to play T20s and I'm sure he will do really well.”
Sri Lankan captain Thisara Perera was confident that his side would come good in the T20Is. “We can take lot of positives from the (first ODI) match and flush out negatives from the last series. This is a new series.
“Normally we pick young players for T20s. Have to use them... Don't think they have pressure. Personally, I know they have good mindset. I think we can bounce back.”
Perera took heart from the knock of 95 by Upul Tharanga, “who changed some movement thanks to the batting coach (Thilan Samaraweera),” in the last ODI.
According to the Lankan skipper, a 150-plus score should be good enough on the Barabati track which had not staged any Ranji Trophy match this season.
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