Confident Karthik eyes finisher role in Indian team
Dinesh Karthik, who contributed a crucial 38-ball 69 in Delhi Daredevils' victory against Rajasthan Royals, is pleased with his batting form and believes he is ready to take over the role of finisher in the India's limited-overs teams.
"I can proudly say that I can be a good finisher. I would take that role of a finisher any day, it's a high-pressure job; MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh have been doing it for sometime now and I want to take over that job," Karthik told the Sunday Express. "I have been able to finish a few games for Delhi Daredevils and I want to do the same for the Indian team as well."
Karthik is second only to Virender Sehwag in the list of run-getters for Delhi so far in IPL 2010, with 210 runs at an average of 30.00, and a strike-rate of 140.93. His form in the middle order, in addition to his wicketkeeping skills, has been crucial to Delhi's cause in the tournament.
"I do feel that I have been batting very well recently. It's tough for me to compare how I was batting before and now, but I am obviously very happy with the way my batting is shaping up and with the way I'm hitting the ball.
"For me, it has never been about being flashy, or about telling people how many shots I have in my kitty. When I am playing those shots I am just reacting to what the team requirements are. Over the years you learn and it comes through sheer experience. I also spend a lot of time at the nets - in fact, I have been working a lot with my coach Jayaram [former Kerala captain] but I think some of the decisions to play the shots come with my mental strength," Karthik said.
Karthik has had a tough time at the highest level, where he faced reasonable success as a Test opener before MS Dhoni displaced him, first behind the stumps and later from the starting eleven. Since then, he has cemented his place as India's second-choice keeper, and in recent times, forced his way back as a specialist batsman. Karthik attributed his comeback to his ability to take stock of things and improve on his weaknesses.
"When you get dropped, you do sit down and try and reassess. After I was dropped two years back after the Sri Lanka series, I had a serious rethink on my game, and the way I was going. When you are down or you get out cheaply, people talk about you, one needs to make a note and sit down patiently and assess the merits and demerits.
"I realised that there was a problem with my mindset - I used to get worked up very easily and I needed to improve my keeping. I made a conscious attempt to rectify those mistakes and I can confidently say that I have improved drastically since then," Karthik said.
Karthik was not too concerned that his wicketkeeping was not required by the national side. "I don't think too much about keeping when I am with the Indian team. Obviously I am only there as a back-up for Dhoni and I concentrate on my batting. When I get back to the domestic circuit, it does take a while to adjust back, because I haven't kept for a while. But that's a bargain I am willing to take to play for India," Karthik said.