Krishnakumar Dinesh Karthik
June 01, 1985, Madras (now Chennai), Tamil Nadu
Also Known As
Right hand bat
Right arm offbreak
Not many would forget the sight of Dinesh Karthik in India colours, horizontal on the ground, as he stumped Michael Vaughan in 2004. It was his first dismissal as a wicketkeeper for India, but his international career never really took off. Around the time he began churning out consistent runs in domestic cricket, India had MS Dhoni at the helm and behind the stumps, so there was very little Karthik could do. A man who was an integral part of a Test series victory over England in 2007, who showed he could open the batting in spicy conditions, just could not capitalise on his second chances.
Karthik was still a giant in domestic cricket though, and had a knack for turning up on turning tracks. No doubt his penchant to sweep, reverse sweep and hare down that track at spinners helped his cause. Those quick feet have at times failed him behind the stumps - often at crucial junctures. He was recalled to the Indian side for a tour of Bangladesh in 2014 - but his wicketkeeping let him down.
Karthik made over 1000 first-class runs in the 2008-09 season, with five centuries including a 213 as Tamil Nadu captain as they reached the semi-finals. For five seasons since - barring 2010-11, 2013 [when he played only one match] and 2015-16 - he had maintained a batting average above 40. Karthik found himself in contention again after Dhoni's retirement in 2014, but Wriddhiman Saha was preferred because he was seen as the stronger keeper.
An in-and-out history with the Indian team didn't help. He was picked in the one-day squad, as replacement for Parthiv Patel in August 2004, and made his debut in a NatWest Challenge game against England where he pulled off a superb stumping. Shortly afterwards, he was called up to make his Test debut against Australia but when he could manage only one fifty in ten matches, he was axed.
He made a comeback in 2008 - picked in the Indian side for all three formats for a tour of New Zealand - but his middling performances continued over the following year and did not allow him to cement a place in the team. He fell out of contention, until a fine 2012-13 domestic season got him back into the ODI side for the 2013 Champions Trophy in England but it proved to be another false dawn.
Karthik may feel unfulfilled when he looks back on his international career, but the IPL should have helped soothe him. He was bought at INR 12.5 crore by Delhi Daredevils in the 2014 auction and the next year, he netted INR 10.5 crore courtesy Royal Challengers Bangalore. He was acquired by Gujarat Lions for INR 2.3 crore in 2016.
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