As the Board of Control for Cricket in India announced the names of the 15 cricketers who will be representing the nation in the upcoming 2019 World Cup in England and Wales this May, a war of sorts started to rage on between the followers of youngblood Rishabh Pant and those of the veteran wicket-keeping batsman, Dinesh karthik, who is going to play in the World Cup for the second time after waiting for 12 long years.
When the team was officially announced on Monday, Karthik was sharing a meal with his wife and ace squash player Dipika Pallikal, and Kolkata Knight Riders CEO Venky Mysore. It was Pallikal's father who called to give the cricketer the good news and made him nearly jump out of his seat.View this post on Instagram
A post shared by Dinesh Karthik (@dk00019) on Mar 8, 2019 at 7:32am PST
"It is a special occasion. I am really lucky and grateful," said the veteran in a media gathering at his hotel on Tuesday.
DK has been one of India's top players for quite a stint now and even though he was dropped for the series against the visiting Australians in March, he was never thrown out of the discussion while deciding the World Cup team.
"My journey for the 2019 World Cup began when I returned to the Indian team in 2017. I started believing that if I do something special, I can be a part of this amazing team that will play the World Cup," he said.
One could see Karthik's real potential as a hitter with skills enough to show up in the clutch and end matches in favour of his side during the 2018 Nidahas Cup final against Bangladesh when he scored 29 runs off just 8 balls to win the trophy whilst deflating the notorious Bangladeshi bowling line-up.
Remembering the brilliant innings, Karthik said: “A lot of credit should go to Abhishek Nayar for making me play the finisher's role. He made me believe that it was a skill that I could acquire if I practice in a certain way and learn to a few types of shots. However, I never planned to be a finisher. I just tried to be consistent and deliver in crunch situations.”
Opening about being chosen over Pant for the number four spot, Karthik addressed the gathering when he said: “There will always be someone who will miss out. That's the nature of the game… He (Pant) was aware of his opportunity and so was I. If he had been selected, I would have been disappointed. Now that I have been selected, I am sure he is a bit disappointed.”
A couple of days ago, former Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh may have taken a shot at the Tamil Nadu player saying that the active wicket-keeper of the team, Mahendra Singh Dhoni needed no backup and the presence of KL Rahul's name on the list can take care of the situation had Dhoni faced an injury.
Karthik, on the other hand is just happy to be where he is right now and brings along the willingness to play whatever role the team will need of him. Addressing the concerns related to Dhoni, he said: “I am just that small first-aid kit that will travel with the team. If he (Dhoni) gets injured then I will be the band-aid for a day."
“I am however, aware that I can bat at number four or be the finisher, if given an opportunity,” mentioned the confident athlete.
Such is the nature of the KKR skipper. A blend of humbleness in heart, faith in his hardwork and an open mindset allowing him to mould himself according to the changing needs of time, has made the cricketer one of the most liked members of an extremely skilled and talent-laden team that will be competing for the greatest honour and recognition there is in the cricketing world in less than a month and a half.