Champions Trophy 2013 May 4, 2013

Versatile Karthik ready for any role

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Ever since he burst on to the domestic scene as a teenager more than a decade ago, Dinesh Karthik has been considered as a prodigious talent with the bat. Add to it his skills as a wicketkeeper and exceptional fielder and he becomes an all-round package.

But without consistent performances, talent doesn't get you too far. As a result, it wasn't a surprise when Karthik was dropped from the Indian team after an ordinary outing during the tri-series in Dambulla where he scored 33 runs in five innings against New Zealand and Sri Lanka.

Similarly, after a season in which Karthik was at his consistent best, nobody was surprised when Karthik returned to India's squad for the Champions Trophy, to be played in England from June 6. Even the man himself wasn't surprised.

"I am happy about it [selection]. I've been batting well and it feels good when your efforts are rewarded," Karthik said. He has been in exceptional touch while batting at No. 3 for Mumbai Indians during the IPL - 331 runs in 10 matches at a strike-rate of almost 140 - and it has come at the back of a run-heavy domestic season.

In the season-opening Corporate Trophy, he emerged as the highest run-getter with 301 runs from three innings for India Cements. Then in the Ranji Trophy, even though it was a disappointing season for Tamil Nadu, Karthik was by far their top scorer with 577 runs at 64.11.

Then came the domestic one-dayers. And even though Tamil Nadu failed to progress to the all-India knockouts of the Vijay Hazare Trophy, Karthik scored at least a fifty in each of his five innings. As a result, despite playing only five games, he finished as the second-highest run-scorer of the tournament.

"All along [these three years], I have been working hard in domestic cricket," he said. "I have been trying to be as consistent as possible. And it feels good enough to score virtually every time I bat these days."

The confidence drawn from such consistency means Karthik wasn't weighed down at the prospect of replacing an ODI stalwart like Yuvraj Singh. Though Karthik hasn't yet been spoken to either by the selectors or team management about his specific role in the team, the squad composition hints that he may well be required to bat in the middle order. And he is up for the challenge. "That is what I have done even earlier, so I am ready to play any role that the team management expects of me - whether a specialist batsman or a keeper-batsman."

Over the last two years, Karthik has been working with his personal coach Prasanna Agoram, the South African national team's performance analyst. And the efforts have culminated in Karthik being recalled to the national squad, incidentally for a tour to the same country where Karthik made his international debut more than eight years ago.

"We had to make minor corrections to my batting techniques," Karthik said. "That has helped me immensely in order to be good enough to score every time I go out to bat. I would like to thank Prasanna and all my family members who have stood behind me during difficult times."

Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on May 8, 2013, 3:49 GMT

    Karthik has been a good batsmen has been rewarded for his good performances in domestic cricket . The selectors have done a good job in selecting him for the Champions trophy in England. No doubt England is going to be a tough challenge as the conditions are going to be bowler friendly and this is where the Indian team has been found wanting. But Karthik's addition will be good for the team as he had toured there before and also scored big runs for the team in 2007. But cricket is a team game and it will be interesting to see how others perform as the Indian team's record outside the subcontinent in the past 2 years have been dismal.They will be up against teams like South Africa and Pakistan who have lot of forepower in their attack and they can be quite lethal in English conditions. Abhijith Radhakrishnan

  • Don64 on May 8, 2013, 15:13 GMT

    I think the selection is extremely fair...my playing 11 would be 1) Shikar Dhawan 2) Kartik 3) Kohli 4) Raina 5) Rohit S 6) Dhoni 7)Jadeja 8) Irfan 9)Ashwain 10) Bhuvi 11)Umesh Yadav. If Kartik fails to perform then replace it with Murli V. Bhuvi scores over Vinay K and Umesh Yadav has more aggression then Ishant. I doubt Amit Mishra would get a game at the expense of Jadeja. I would have still loved to see Yuvi as he is a game changer

  • on May 8, 2013, 1:00 GMT

    The best team would have been this one:

    D. Kartik, C.Pujara, V.Kohli, Y. Singh, MS Dhoni, S. Raina, I.Pathan, R. Jadeja, B.Kumar, P. Kumar, and Shami Ahmad. 1 seamer, 3 swing bowlers, 2 spinners or 3 if u count raina, batting right till no 10. technically strong top order both of whom r in form, and a established middle order.

  • Edassery on May 7, 2013, 6:30 GMT

    M Vijay is a T20 wonder and hence shouldn't be there in the scheme of things in ODIs or Tests especially outside India. I would think that India should open with Dinesh Karthik and Shikhar Dhawan. Even Rohit Sharma is an IPL wonder and never ever played well for India despite numerous chances given. He shouldn't have been picked, or may be this is his last chance to prove once for all!

    I still can't understand the cries from Yuvi and Sehwag fans - both these players have been hopeless recently with no fitness and form in the vicinity. And Gambhir with his poor mental state and sportsman spirit, don't deserve to come back.

  • Venkiwaran on May 7, 2013, 5:17 GMT

    @ravi_hari, I don't think you have got your facts right about Dinesh's overseas record. He was one of the reasons that India won the 2007 tour of England. As an opener, he was the highest scorer for India in that series. He along with Wasim Jaffer set up each innings which resulted in the series win under Dravid. Dinesh would have fared well under any other captain. With Dhoni given the captaincy, Dinesh was always perceived as a threat and he was sidelined. In the subsequent tour to Australia, Dinesh got to play only one tour game and he scored 90+ in that game. Dhoni played all the tests and all the other tour games too. He has the technique and the temperament to make it big if given the opportunity, which I doubt. His first failure will mean the end of Dinesh Karthik. Good luck, Dinesh!

  • anilkp on May 6, 2013, 20:45 GMT

    @TRAM: I am sorry, but when did Vijay play an anchoring role successfully? In ODIs? Abroad? His inclusion in the recent Tests was debatable; good that he scored well. After that, even with ample opportunities in the IPL, he has been simply a mediocre. Please do not compare Test performances to ODIs or T20s. There are a very few who can effortlessly adjust among various formats, and they are the modern greats the game knows. Rest are specialists for just a format. And, Vijay is a specialist for none. Pujara should have been there. He is one guy who has the potential to play every format effectively.

  • Y2SJ on May 6, 2013, 20:20 GMT

    Grossly underutilised. He was thrust into a unfamiliar role of opener when he is a good middle order batsman. Never got even half the chances Rohit Sharma / Jadeja got. Lot better than Saha for sure.

  • ravi_hari on May 6, 2013, 12:33 GMT

    All promise and no performance has been the case with players like Karthik. He has his batch mate Rohit in the team as well. Many-a-time one has seen such talents blossom at domestic level & trial matches and fade out at international level. The reason could be over enthusiasm, lack of technique, over confidence or a mix of all of them. Karthik is definitely an asset to the team. However, can he deliver in English conditions with his technique? I think this team lacks quality in form of technique and we have a lot of impulse performers than quality players. Dhawan, Vijay, Karthik, Rohit, Jadeja all have weak records overseas. The side will be over dependent on Kohli and Dhoni and partly on Raina. It is a big risk they are taking and if it clicks, then India will return with the cup, nothing less. However, I doubt if India will make the knockouts. If Karthik needs to be utilised, I think he should open with Dhawan. He can use the first power play well and give quick starts for the side.

  • Naresh28 on May 6, 2013, 6:58 GMT

    @Vish2020 - you guys always take a swipe at Rohit Sharma. He has shown enough already in the IPL. Here is a batsman who can take on the best of bowlers like :- Lee, Steyn etc. With a change in his attitude he is the next "SACHIN" One big innings in tests will launch his career. Indian fans/selectors need patience with this guy.

  • Naresh28 on May 6, 2013, 6:52 GMT

    KARTHIK and DHAWAN should open for India in Champions trophy. Vijay has lost his confidence in the IPL. Remember the words of Greg Chappell on Karthik. As Nampally said Pujara should have been in the team in case things go wrong with our batsman on overseas tracks. Whatever happens in that tournament is going to have a big influence on the next test team to SA.

  • on May 8, 2013, 3:49 GMT

    Karthik has been a good batsmen has been rewarded for his good performances in domestic cricket . The selectors have done a good job in selecting him for the Champions trophy in England. No doubt England is going to be a tough challenge as the conditions are going to be bowler friendly and this is where the Indian team has been found wanting. But Karthik's addition will be good for the team as he had toured there before and also scored big runs for the team in 2007. But cricket is a team game and it will be interesting to see how others perform as the Indian team's record outside the subcontinent in the past 2 years have been dismal.They will be up against teams like South Africa and Pakistan who have lot of forepower in their attack and they can be quite lethal in English conditions. Abhijith Radhakrishnan

  • Don64 on May 8, 2013, 15:13 GMT

    I think the selection is extremely fair...my playing 11 would be 1) Shikar Dhawan 2) Kartik 3) Kohli 4) Raina 5) Rohit S 6) Dhoni 7)Jadeja 8) Irfan 9)Ashwain 10) Bhuvi 11)Umesh Yadav. If Kartik fails to perform then replace it with Murli V. Bhuvi scores over Vinay K and Umesh Yadav has more aggression then Ishant. I doubt Amit Mishra would get a game at the expense of Jadeja. I would have still loved to see Yuvi as he is a game changer

  • on May 8, 2013, 1:00 GMT

    The best team would have been this one:

    D. Kartik, C.Pujara, V.Kohli, Y. Singh, MS Dhoni, S. Raina, I.Pathan, R. Jadeja, B.Kumar, P. Kumar, and Shami Ahmad. 1 seamer, 3 swing bowlers, 2 spinners or 3 if u count raina, batting right till no 10. technically strong top order both of whom r in form, and a established middle order.

  • Edassery on May 7, 2013, 6:30 GMT

    M Vijay is a T20 wonder and hence shouldn't be there in the scheme of things in ODIs or Tests especially outside India. I would think that India should open with Dinesh Karthik and Shikhar Dhawan. Even Rohit Sharma is an IPL wonder and never ever played well for India despite numerous chances given. He shouldn't have been picked, or may be this is his last chance to prove once for all!

    I still can't understand the cries from Yuvi and Sehwag fans - both these players have been hopeless recently with no fitness and form in the vicinity. And Gambhir with his poor mental state and sportsman spirit, don't deserve to come back.

  • Venkiwaran on May 7, 2013, 5:17 GMT

    @ravi_hari, I don't think you have got your facts right about Dinesh's overseas record. He was one of the reasons that India won the 2007 tour of England. As an opener, he was the highest scorer for India in that series. He along with Wasim Jaffer set up each innings which resulted in the series win under Dravid. Dinesh would have fared well under any other captain. With Dhoni given the captaincy, Dinesh was always perceived as a threat and he was sidelined. In the subsequent tour to Australia, Dinesh got to play only one tour game and he scored 90+ in that game. Dhoni played all the tests and all the other tour games too. He has the technique and the temperament to make it big if given the opportunity, which I doubt. His first failure will mean the end of Dinesh Karthik. Good luck, Dinesh!

  • anilkp on May 6, 2013, 20:45 GMT

    @TRAM: I am sorry, but when did Vijay play an anchoring role successfully? In ODIs? Abroad? His inclusion in the recent Tests was debatable; good that he scored well. After that, even with ample opportunities in the IPL, he has been simply a mediocre. Please do not compare Test performances to ODIs or T20s. There are a very few who can effortlessly adjust among various formats, and they are the modern greats the game knows. Rest are specialists for just a format. And, Vijay is a specialist for none. Pujara should have been there. He is one guy who has the potential to play every format effectively.

  • Y2SJ on May 6, 2013, 20:20 GMT

    Grossly underutilised. He was thrust into a unfamiliar role of opener when he is a good middle order batsman. Never got even half the chances Rohit Sharma / Jadeja got. Lot better than Saha for sure.

  • ravi_hari on May 6, 2013, 12:33 GMT

    All promise and no performance has been the case with players like Karthik. He has his batch mate Rohit in the team as well. Many-a-time one has seen such talents blossom at domestic level & trial matches and fade out at international level. The reason could be over enthusiasm, lack of technique, over confidence or a mix of all of them. Karthik is definitely an asset to the team. However, can he deliver in English conditions with his technique? I think this team lacks quality in form of technique and we have a lot of impulse performers than quality players. Dhawan, Vijay, Karthik, Rohit, Jadeja all have weak records overseas. The side will be over dependent on Kohli and Dhoni and partly on Raina. It is a big risk they are taking and if it clicks, then India will return with the cup, nothing less. However, I doubt if India will make the knockouts. If Karthik needs to be utilised, I think he should open with Dhawan. He can use the first power play well and give quick starts for the side.

  • Naresh28 on May 6, 2013, 6:58 GMT

    @Vish2020 - you guys always take a swipe at Rohit Sharma. He has shown enough already in the IPL. Here is a batsman who can take on the best of bowlers like :- Lee, Steyn etc. With a change in his attitude he is the next "SACHIN" One big innings in tests will launch his career. Indian fans/selectors need patience with this guy.

  • Naresh28 on May 6, 2013, 6:52 GMT

    KARTHIK and DHAWAN should open for India in Champions trophy. Vijay has lost his confidence in the IPL. Remember the words of Greg Chappell on Karthik. As Nampally said Pujara should have been in the team in case things go wrong with our batsman on overseas tracks. Whatever happens in that tournament is going to have a big influence on the next test team to SA.

  • on May 6, 2013, 5:42 GMT

    he is a great player.selectors didnt give him more chances

  • vinay.H.R on May 6, 2013, 4:08 GMT

    if the second highest run getter in the Vijay Hazare Trophy get selected for the ODI ,then wat abt the 1st highest run scorer "Robin Uthappa". This is ridiculous and also he got good runs in ranji trophy.jus performing 3-4 mathces in IPL they cant consider for national team.

  • Batmanindallas on May 6, 2013, 3:07 GMT

    Let us see how these Yodhas perform against the fast moving ball....

  • on May 5, 2013, 6:30 GMT

    Atlast Karthik got recall from Indian selectors, its great sign for him. He is a gifted player with all d shots in the book.He can bat at any position, i wish he n rohit get a regular spot in playing 11, then can do wonders. Rohit was given oppurtunity open again england in couple of matches he scored 87* runs n was give bad decision to get out. I feel he n dhawan should open the innigs, followed by karthik, kohli,raina, dhoni,jadu,ashwin,irfan,bhui n ishi r yadav..Karthik has scored test century in england n has couple of 90's as a opener he has great talent n ability to succeed. Yuvi should have been included in the squad, his experience always plays crucial role..Lets hope for the best

  • dhana35 on May 5, 2013, 4:49 GMT

    vijay is not performing as gud as he was last yr in this IPL bcause his technique was totally changed into an test player thats y he could not able 2 strike the ball well if he is going to adapt the all 3 format of games sure he will shine as a gud player in international

  • TRAM on May 5, 2013, 2:29 GMT

    Vijay & Dhawan should open, with Vijay playing anchor role, which he has done successfully. Dhawan should play his natural aggressive role. Karthik should be at 3 (or less preferably at #4). IMO, Karthik's India career was inconsistent only because he was wrongly chosen for opening slot. Being a strong backfoot player he is one of the very few India batsman fit for foreign conditions. Looking forward to the above 3 at the top.

  • on May 5, 2013, 1:38 GMT

    Consistency is the key. Talent without consistency is of no use. He looks terrific with all the shots in the book, but you never know when he would gift his wicket. Even if he you think he is settled, he will get out at crucial juncture of the game. He might be warming the bench as not sure where he would be accommodated in the lineup.

  • on May 5, 2013, 0:04 GMT

    Vijay, Dhawan, Kohli, Karthik, Dhoni, Raina, Jadeja, Ashwin, Bhuvi, Ishant, Yadav

  • Nampally on May 4, 2013, 22:11 GMT

    Strictly speaking Kartik is the Back up WK. That is his main role. But with India lacking in dependable batsmen in absence of Pujara, it won't surprise anyone if Kartik is included as a batsman either at the opening spot or in the middle order. He showed excellent form & has scored lot of runs- perhaps his Career year in batting. His inclusion was no surprise. Vijay & Dhawan will open the innings with Kohli, Rohit Sharma & Raina or Kartik @ 3,4,5 spots. Dhoni , Jadeja & Ashwin at 6,7,8 followed by 3 seamers. If Rohit is in indifferent form, he may make way for Kartik as well. To play fast seaming ball, batting technique & correct footwork is vital. Personally I feel that Indian batting without Pujara is a Big IF(?) especially in England. Pujara & Tiwary are the 2 fundamentally sound players. High scores on Indian pitches is a poor indication of their ability on the England wkts. & environmental conditions.Most of the present Indian batsmen rely on hand eye coordination - poor footwork!

  • kapilesh23 on May 4, 2013, 20:47 GMT

    Not to forget that he was actually very very good during the tour of 2007 I think when he did well in both test and odis. I hope he clicks this time around too.

  • on May 4, 2013, 20:19 GMT

    my playing XI - dhawan, kartik, kohli, dhoni, raina, rohit, jadeja, irfan, bhuvi, ashwin, ishant. reserves: yadav, mishra, vinay, viay. since DK is playing at no 3 in IPL and he has done opening in test matches as well, he can open in testing conditions in englanad. dhawan is in the form of his life. i would want dhoni to come at 4 since raina and rohit can play well only if they have a calm head like dhoni with them.

  • dravidsthebest on May 4, 2013, 19:48 GMT

    Kartik should definately open.I am sure he will be the highest score for India For this series.He will score 80 odd runs from 3 matches which we will lose very badly.

  • on May 4, 2013, 16:49 GMT

    Quintessential utility player with specialst offerings too.

  • RajeshNaik on May 4, 2013, 16:31 GMT

    Kartik was always an over rated player till 2 years back. From last 2 years he has been in very good form for Tamilnadu. But I still doubt his ability to succeed in testing conditions. Lets hope he does well. Because this is his second coming and may be the last one.

  • on May 4, 2013, 16:12 GMT

    Opening slot for DK pls.... He is very good when you trust him and put him in top order....

  • vish2020 on May 4, 2013, 15:59 GMT

    "But without consistent performances, talent doesn't get you too far." Unless of course if u are Rohit sharma and then it takes u very far

  • Thirumalaiyandi on May 4, 2013, 15:04 GMT

    I always believed in Dinesh Karthik's ability as a specialist batsman or a wicket keeper batsman, he has done well in the past and he is in form of his life now. He is a team man and only play for the best interest of the team success. i hope he will open the innings in the Championship trophy and score lot or runs with team success. I wish him all the best.

  • on May 4, 2013, 14:25 GMT

    i agree with sk5983 on opening wjith dk and dhawan and also the 11 for the match against sa at cardiff

  • realfan on May 4, 2013, 14:19 GMT

    any day kartik is better than vijay and he should be opening , even in test vijay might have scored century or two in recent series, kartick played important role in england india test series in 2007.....he dint do pretty well... but i wont expect vijay to shine in champions tropy because he will not....

  • on May 4, 2013, 14:10 GMT

    Since the match he played against CSK in champions trophy last year,he is in form of his life.Everything that comes in his way goes for runs.He played well ins South Africa.He made a fifty(91) in Enlgand about six years ago.He played well in Australia about 5 years ago and he is technically much stronger now.He made a fifty in Enlgand about six years ago. So,I expect a lot of runs from him.If he can perform upto his talent,then indian batting line up will be strongesgt in the world consisting Sehwag,Gambhir.Raina,Dhoni,Kohli,Rohit ,Pujara and him.Even Murali VIjay and SHikhar DHawan are very good.

  • Venkiviru on May 4, 2013, 13:45 GMT

    All The best !!!!!!!!!!

  • QingdaoXI on May 4, 2013, 13:39 GMT

    Kartik dont play in middle order, but open with Dhawan. Xi should be Dhawan, Kartik, Kohli, Rohit, Raina, Dhoni, Irfan, Ashwin, Bhuvi, Ishant, Umesh.

  • on May 4, 2013, 13:37 GMT

    Good Luck Man...do well........

  • on May 4, 2013, 13:37 GMT

    Good Luck Man...do well........

  • QingdaoXI on May 4, 2013, 13:39 GMT

    Kartik dont play in middle order, but open with Dhawan. Xi should be Dhawan, Kartik, Kohli, Rohit, Raina, Dhoni, Irfan, Ashwin, Bhuvi, Ishant, Umesh.

  • Venkiviru on May 4, 2013, 13:45 GMT

    All The best !!!!!!!!!!

  • on May 4, 2013, 14:10 GMT

    Since the match he played against CSK in champions trophy last year,he is in form of his life.Everything that comes in his way goes for runs.He played well ins South Africa.He made a fifty(91) in Enlgand about six years ago.He played well in Australia about 5 years ago and he is technically much stronger now.He made a fifty in Enlgand about six years ago. So,I expect a lot of runs from him.If he can perform upto his talent,then indian batting line up will be strongesgt in the world consisting Sehwag,Gambhir.Raina,Dhoni,Kohli,Rohit ,Pujara and him.Even Murali VIjay and SHikhar DHawan are very good.

  • realfan on May 4, 2013, 14:19 GMT

    any day kartik is better than vijay and he should be opening , even in test vijay might have scored century or two in recent series, kartick played important role in england india test series in 2007.....he dint do pretty well... but i wont expect vijay to shine in champions tropy because he will not....

  • on May 4, 2013, 14:25 GMT

    i agree with sk5983 on opening wjith dk and dhawan and also the 11 for the match against sa at cardiff

  • Thirumalaiyandi on May 4, 2013, 15:04 GMT

    I always believed in Dinesh Karthik's ability as a specialist batsman or a wicket keeper batsman, he has done well in the past and he is in form of his life now. He is a team man and only play for the best interest of the team success. i hope he will open the innings in the Championship trophy and score lot or runs with team success. I wish him all the best.

  • vish2020 on May 4, 2013, 15:59 GMT

    "But without consistent performances, talent doesn't get you too far." Unless of course if u are Rohit sharma and then it takes u very far

  • on May 4, 2013, 16:12 GMT

    Opening slot for DK pls.... He is very good when you trust him and put him in top order....

  • RajeshNaik on May 4, 2013, 16:31 GMT

    Kartik was always an over rated player till 2 years back. From last 2 years he has been in very good form for Tamilnadu. But I still doubt his ability to succeed in testing conditions. Lets hope he does well. Because this is his second coming and may be the last one.