Karthik wants to be ‘the guy who can help India win tough games’

Returning man Dinesh Karthik stole the show for Rajkot in the fourth T20I against South Africa on Friday night. Knock no. 6, the veteran wicket-beater keeper broke a 55 from 27 balls, including 9 limits and 2 maximums, scoring his first T20I fifty. He stitched up a crucial 65-point stand with vice-captain Hardik Pandya, helping the hosts set a target of 170 points for the Proteas to pursue.

In response, the visitors succumbed to an 82-point loss and were grouped for their lowest tally in the game’s shortest format – 87/9. As India tied the series 2-2, Karthik won the Man of the Match award for his remarkable runs.

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After the clinical win, the 37-year-old had a candid chat with Pandya at Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium. Asked about the spirit with which he tackled South African bowlers, Karthik gave a touching response. The cricketing veteran said he knows the value of the chance to represent the team at international level. So he made the most of it.

“I was very stubborn, I wanted to play this World Cup. It’s very important for me because I’ve been there for so long and I know what it’s like to be dropped. I also know how bad it is. valuable to play for Team India.

“So I wanted to do something special. And luckily RCB gave me the platform, the role that I really enjoyed playing. I trained for it, I worked for it and to see it happen. And then obviously the love and affection of everyone who has watched me all the way – from the captain to the coach, to the selectors, who go ahead and give me this opportunity,” said Karthik told Pandya during a chat on BCCI.tv.

“Now that I’m here I want to be that guy who can help the Indian team win those tough games. I want to be in that situation trying to do something special every time I go there because I I’ve seen the team from the outside. I know how hard it is to be part of it. The kind of competition that exists, the kind of talent in the dressing room is phenomenal,” he added.

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Karthik further praised the Indian dressing room environment which is full of “youthful energy”. He said he appreciates it very much and at the same time shows his abilities whenever he gets the chance.

“The vibe is very different. I feel like I’m enjoying it a lot. There’s a lot of youthful energy flowing through, which I really appreciate. At the same time, when I’m given the opportunity, I want to show what I’m good at,” added Karthik.

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