A 37-year-old Dinesh Karthik set the 2022 Indian Premier League alight with his explosive performances for the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Thanks to his incredible returns (330 runs in 10 innings at S/R 183.33), the wicketkeeper-batter made an international comeback after almost three years, as he represented India in the T20I series against South Africa. And throughout the series, Karthik produced performances that earned him laurels, and have likely helped him cement a spot in the squad.
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The India veteran smashed his first international half-century in the shortest format during the fourth T20I of the series, scoring 55 off just 27 deliveries; and it was this innings that helped India reach a competitive score of 169/6 in the game, and eventually secure an emphatic 82-run win. Throughout the innings, Karthik showed his class as he smashed the ball all around the park; something that has become a norm for him since IPL 2022.
Former India bowler Irfan Pathan, who played alongside Karthik in India’s first-ever T20I in 2006, talked about the wicketkeeper-batter in detail on Star Sports after the fifth and final match of the South Africa series was washed out. During the conversation, Irfan noted a similarity between Karthik and famed former Proteas star AB de Villiers.
“You won’t find a player with such a range. See, I’m not comparing him with AB de Villiers in terms of ability, but his range is quite similar to him. He will hit you for sweep, he will go for a switch hit. He has all the shots. When needed, he charges down the track and yes, he does prefer the leg-side. But the way he uses his feet and gets in the line of the ball is brilliant,” Irfan said.
“He efficiently plays the spinners and fast bowlers. And if you ask him to hit from ball one, he can do that as well. For a finisher, it is very important and that is what Dinesh Karthik can do,” the former India bowler further added.
Dinesh Karthik will next be seen in action during the two-match T20I series against Ireland, which takes place later this month. Both matches, scheduled on June 26 and 28, will be played in Malahide.