Done in by nerves to start with, keeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik feels he has a good chance of making India’s Champions Trophy playing XI after his fluent knock in the warm-up game against Bangladesh. After failing in India’s first warm-up match against New Zealand, Karthik, who replaced an injured Manish Pandey from the original squad, scored a blazing 94 off just 74 balls against Bangladesh yesterday. India will open their Champions Trophy campaign against Pakistan on June 4.
“I saw this game (against Bangladesh) as an opportunity to showcase my skill and it was nice to get some time in the middle. I feel ready for the tournament now,” he said after India’s convincing 240-run win over Bangladesh.
“For me obviously it was an important match. I guess the likes of captain and coach are watching me bat, and (for them) seeing where I stand is very important. It’s important that whenever I get the opportunity, I try and do the best that I can,” the wicket-keeper batsman said.
Karthik’s career started on a promising note in the early 2000s, but since then he has been looked upon as a replacement specialist ever since Mahendra Singh Dhoni came to the fore. By his own admission, Karthik needed the knock against Bangladesh after scoring a nervous nine-ball duck in India’s first warm-up match against New Zealand. “In the last game I was a little nervous going in,” he admitted.
“Even though Virat (Kohli) tried his best to calm my nerves, it was a little difficult. I was back in the blues after a long time, so I guess I was very over-excited probably. It was one of those days where the bowler and the keeper were playing and I was just standing in between not doing much and getting beaten! It was pretty embarrassing out there,” Karthik said.
“(But) Against Bangladesh, I calmed myself down and I thought: ‘it’s an important opportunity for me to go out there and play a few shots’. I worked on my batting a little bit yesterday, got a hit and felt better today.”
Karthik knows the English conditions well as he has had a fair amount of success here in the past. “On a personal note, it’s important to feel how it is to be batting back in England. It’s a great place to play cricket,” said Karthik, who didn’t feature in an ODI since 2014.
“You have to be aware of the conditions. If the sun is out, it’s pretty beautiful to bat. In fact it’s better than India because the ball bounces even better and comes on to the bat.
“But if there’s a bit of cloud cover, the bowler gets the upper hand. There’s a bit of swing and immediately things change and you can see the way the game progresses. There is a certain game flow with the sun being out and not,” he said.
“Other than that, there are small things. There is probably a little more bounce than India. The ball does skid on a little more but at times it’s great for stroke-making as well. It’s good to play some shots and it’s just great to bat.”