‘He was Highly Motivated, Wanted to Push his Case to Play for India’: Here’s How Karthik Got RCB Contract

Dinesh Karthik’s return to the Indian dressing room is one of the most exciting comeback stories we have ever come across. It took him almost three years to regain his place in the team and now, he’s the most trusted finisher in T20Is. Moreover, he has turned into a situational player who can be sent to bat when the team need someone to amplify the innings. In simpler terms, just go in and smash!

Karthik’s redemption was majorly platformed by the Royal Challengers Bangalore who picked the veteran India wicketkeeper-batter at the IPL 2022 mega players’ auction. The franchise showed faith in the 37-year-old and in return, he delivered several match-winning knocks, helping the side to enter the playoffs.

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Karthik scored 330 runs in 7 innings at a staggering strike rate of 183.33. His average of 55 was higher than the stalwarts in Virat Kohli (22.73) and Rohit Sharma (19.14).

RCB’s director of cricketing operations Mike Hesson recently opened up about the selection of Karthik prior to the IPL 2022. In an interview with the Times of India, he said the team management found the wicketkeeper-batter extremely motivated and he wanted to push his case to play for India.

“DK came from the wilderness. We talked about giving clear directions and roles. So, he could plan with some real purpose. The results are there for everyone to see, not just in the IPL but for the Indian side as well. Prior to the auction, we reached out to DK and realised he was highly motivated to come and do well. He wanted to come on board and push his case to play for India with a specific role. Once we knew he was a highly motivated player who wanted to do better, work incredibly hard and we needed a finisher, we both came on board. We gave him a lot of clarity on the role we wanted him to play and told him, this is one role we want you to be an expert at,” Hesson was quoted as saying.

The former New Zealand coach further stated that Karthik ended the team’s search for a finisher; the job which AB de Villiers used to do for the team in past editions.

“To get an Indian finisher was difficult. The role requires experience because there is a lot of pressure that needs to be absorbed. We had AB de Villiers who was outstanding in the role but there are very few players who are like ABD. For us to have an Indian player fulfill that role, we felt we needed somebody who would do it differently. DK is a different type of power player and not many thought of him as a power player. But we watched him closely from overs 15-20 and he did well in those overs. He hadn’t done particularly well when he was given other roles (before RCB) and we felt he had plenty to offer,” Hesson added.

On the back of a stellar IPL performance, Karthik made his way into the Indias T20I setup. In the series against South Africa at home, he scored his maiden T20I fifty, 15 years after making his debut in the format.

He featured in the England tour as well and will be back in action for the upcoming Asia Cup 2022, starting August 27 in the UAE.

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