Dinesh Karthik: from commentator to India's best finisher in T20 cricket

Wicketkeeper-batsman helps Royal Challengers Bangalore seal another win in IPL 2022

Dinesh  Karthik of Royal Challengers Bangalore during teh IPL 2022 match against Delhi Capitals at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Sportzpics for IPL
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Dinesh Karthik's India career seemed as good as over last year.

Despite some sparkling innings in white ball cricket and vast experience in the international arena, the wicketkeeper-batsman did not get a consistent run at the international stage over the last few years.

However, his second innings as a commentator turned out to be hit as his insights and flamboyant attire made him a cult figure in a short period of time.

But Karthik was determined to show that his whirlwind innings in the 2018 T20 Nidahas Trophy final against Bangladesh was not a flash in the pan.

In a case of perfect timing, the gloveman, who turns 37 in June, has set the stage alight in IPL 2022. Karthik was the star of the show again as he set up victory for Royal Challengers Bangalore.

On Saturday in Mumbai, Karthik paced his innings expertly after walking in to bat with Bangalore struggling at 92-5 against the Delhi Capitals and guided his side to a total of 189-5 with an unbeaten 66 off 34 balls.

The total was enough to hand Bangalore a 16-run victory and power them into the top four in the league table.

"I must admit I have a bigger goal," Karthik said. "I have been working really, really hard. Sometimes people don't believe it. But my aim is to do something special for the country. This is part of the journey. I have been doing everything I can to be part of that Indian team.

"This is one step in that direction."

Since making his India debut in 2004, Karthik has played 26 Tests, 94 ODIs and 32 T20s, and last turned out for the national side in the 50-over World Cup in 2019 in England.

After six matches in this year's IPL, Karthik has an average of 197 at a strike rate of 210, and will be hoping to carry on his run at Twenty20 World Cup in Australia later this year, where he is almost a guaranteed selection.

"The way DK is playing at the moment, I sound like a broken record but he is in the form of his life," former South Africa and current Bangalore captain Faf du Plessis said.

"What makes him even more special is he is so clear in his game plans. He is so calm and composed right through. Obviously very lucky to have him in our team at the moment."

India are in need of a power hitter lower down the order who can accelerate in the final overs against any bowling. And Karthik is the best in the country, on current form.

Updated: April 17, 2022, 9:22 AM