Dinesh Karthik spent the tense moments leading to the announcement of the Indian squad for the ICC ODI World Cup with his wife Dipika Pallikal and Kolkata Knight Riders CEO Venky Mysore at the team hotel in Kolkata on Monday.
In a chat with Sportstar , Karthik admitted, “Yes, I was anxious. Playing in the World Cup is big and everyone wants to be part of the experience. And after the team came out, it was both a feeling of relief and happiness for me.”
The wicket-keeper batsman realises that he has been picked for his experience. And his stroke-filled batting has been a huge factor in his selection.
Karthik said, “M.S. Dhoni should keep wickets in all matches in the World Cup and I would come into picture only if he gets injured. It is as a specialist batsman that I have a better chances of making the eleven.”
He elaborated, “I am capable of batting at No. 4, from where I can build an innings. I have performed the role in the past. I have also been coming later down the order and donned the role of a finisher.”
The 33-year-old Karthik can rotate the strike, keep a calm head and also unleash the big blows targeting specific bowlers. “Clarity of thought is very important to execute plans in these situations,” he said.
He was confident of India’s prospects. “I think we have a very good team and should do well.”
Karthik has several memories of the premier ODI competition.
The first World Cup he followed was the 1996 event in the sub-continent. “I still recall Vinod Kambli in tears after India lost to Sri Lanka in Kolkata to be eliminated. The ball was really turning when India batted. And I, as a kid, was really disappointed.”
Karthik added, “In the 1999 World Cup, I remember Nayan Mongia’s brilliant catch to dismiss Azhar Mahmood off Anil Kumble. It was the catch of the World Cup.”
Karthik also recalled the 2003 World Cup in Southern Africa and Sachin Tendulkar’s stirring duel with the fast and furious Shoaib Akhtar at Centurion. “Who can forget Sachin’s upper-cut six off Akhtar,” said the KKR captain.
The Tamil Nadu wicket-keeper batsman was a part of India’s squad for the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean, a disastrous campaign. “Later in the year, I was in the Indian team for the World Twenty20 in South Africa and we triumphed against all odds.”
The fit and agile Karthik does not believe this will be his last World Cup. “I am training hard and performing. I have not thought about ending my career in the next five to six years.”
For Karthik, confidence is everything.
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