Cricket is a sentiment in India, and while growing up we have heard about multiple cricketers who went on to become pioneers of the game. One such name is Dinesh Karthik. A name that has been echoing since 2004 when he made his test debut against Australia in Mumbai. Unfortunately, this name faded away due to the rise of MS Dhoni. From time to time, he kept coming back to the team and doing his national duties. But the story changed in 2022. 18 years after his debut, when he got the chance to become an integral part of team India again.
So, let’s read the full story of one of the greatest comebacks the game of cricket has witnessed.
Before 2022, the last time Dinesh Karthik played for the men in blue was in the 2019 world cup, after which he was promptly dropped from the team. He even started doing commentary, and everyone thought his playing days were over. However, destiny had a different plan for him.
It all began with IPL 2022. After 3 years of captaining Kolkata Knight Riders, Kartik was not retained by them, owing to his bad performance. In the 2022 auction, Royal Challengers Bangalore bid for Kartik and brought him as a finisher, and Kartik surely didn’t disappoint them. Kartik went on to score 330 runs in this year’s IPL with an average of 55 and a devastating strike rate of 183.33. He sealed his team in the place as the reliable finisher who can come in the death overs and smack the bowlers out of the park with comfort. Some people even commented that he showed traces of what AB Devilliers did for RCB.
A successful stint in the IPL forced the national selectors to pick Kartik for the Indian team. After MS dhoni retired, there was a void for an experienced player who could come in the death and take India to victory, and Kartik proved to be the perfect guy for this role. Kartik made his dream comeback for India against South Africa in the T20 series played earlier this year. Memories came flashing by as Kartik was also the part of the first ever T20 played by India in 2006. And here he was 16 years later, wearing the same jersey and still having the fire to perform.
He also scored a half-century on the the17th June 2022, where he scored a destructive 27 balls 55 runs. This made him the oldest Indian cricketer to slam a 50 at the age of 37, surpassing the earlier record made by Ms. Dhoni, who did it at the age of 36. These innings surely made him a permanent member of the Indian team and it obviously reflected in the selections. Dinesh was picked in the all-series played after and even represented India in the 2022 Asia cup. His dream finally came true in September when the team was announced for the T20 world cup. Dinesh Karthik was chosen as a wicketkeeper- cum finisher in the team.
Going forward, it is essential to know what is Dinesh Kartik’s role in the current Indian squad. He has emerged as a stable finisher in recent times who can come in death overs and sail India to victory. He can also be used in middle overs to score some quick runs when required. His experience makes him the center of attraction, around which the middle order can circulate. Another notable advantage is his wicket-keeping skills. Despite being 37, Kartik has shown immense fitness, which is clearly seen in his game. Kartik’s experience will also help captain Rohit Sharma when needed.
Kartik’s story is one of a kind. People might get surprised by hearing this, but playing for India made Kartik’s comeback even more difficult. India has a plethora of talents to choose from, and the increasing demand of fitness has made it tougher for senior players to survive. We have seen how legends like Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, and Gautam Gambhir were dropped from the team and didn’t even get a farewell match. But Kartik’s story is one of a kind.
Dinesh Kartik also had a divorce 5 years ago and was battling depression. His comeback has made it clear that if you have good intentions. And a fire in your gut, you can define the boundaries defined by society and go on to write your own fairytale.