I am studying in the university in which MS Dhoni is the topper, says Dinesh Karthik

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I am studying in the university in which MS Dhoni is the topper, says Dinesh Karthik

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SportsCafe Desk

03/21/2018

Dinesh Karthik has hailed MS Dhoni’s vast experience as he claimed that Dhoni is way far ahead of him in terms of experience. After the brilliant performance in the Nidahas Trophy final, Karthik has also stated that he wants to build on the recent momentum for the future success.

Despite packing a lot of promise, Dinesh Karthik has always remained an understudy to MS Dhoni's colossal figure in the Indian cricket and often regarded as a stop-gap option when the need arises and if the recent events are anything to go by, he is expected to create a permanent space for himself for a long run ahead.

In the final of the Nidahas Trophy between India and Bangladesh, India needed 12 runs in the last six deliveries. Karthik was at the crease but after the fall of Vijay Shankar’s wicket, the team needed five runs on the last ball and Karthik didn’t disappoint at all as he smashed the winning six to lift the trophy in a true Dhoni style, cue the 2011 World Cup. After his heroic performance, fans termed him as the true successor to the Dhoni, but Karthik stated that he doesn’t see any competition.

"When it comes to Dhoni, I am studying in the university in which he is the topper," Karthik told ToI.

"So, it is unfair for me to be compared with him. I've started my journey. It (final heroics) has given me a new wind of hope. His journey has been totally different. I've always been an understudy. I've always looked up to him. Today he is helping out the youngsters. The way he has gone on from strength to strength is for people to see and learn."

For all the majesty of MS Dhoni on the international circuit, Karthik has always been a steady performer at the domestic level and garnered close to 20,000 domestic runs in a career that has been spanning over 14 years. While his international career was not that glittering, in a matter of eight balls he found adulations from all quarters.

"It is probably good karma I guess, for all the good things I've done all through my cricketing career! It probably helped me hit that six. Probably all the good things you do over the years fetched me that two millimetres extra (beyond the boundary)! It just feels good hat suddenly after so many years there is lot of attention on me, which is different to what it is when you are playing domestic cricket. From here on I want to do things like that consistently," said Karthik.

"I have always enjoyed playing as a batsman. In the T20s, I've been asked to play at six and seven. I've finished a few innings. It feels good and the most important thing is to keep doing it consistently. That's what I'm focusing on. In ODIs, they are looking at slightly up the order. I'm just keeping all my options open and develop into a cricketer who can play according to the situation."

The success may never have touched Karthik’s feet like it is right now if not because of a boot camp with Mumbai veteran Abhishek Nayar. Nayar, who has always been considered as a future coach, worked on Karthik’s mental side of things and made him calm and stronger.

Explaining their partnership over the last two-and-a-half years, Karthik said, "He has been the river and I've been the boat. I've just gone along in whatever path he gave me. He has made me do things that I'm not comfortable doing. He has helped me prepare for games, made me think better in terms of strategy. It is hard to put in words how indebted I'm to him. He made sure that I didn't make the mistakes he did."

For the first time in his IPL career, Karthik will lead an IPL side as Kolkata Knight Riders showed their trust on him. On being asked about that, the Tamil Nadu player stated that the captaincy has come to him at the perfect time.

"It has come at the right stage. I want to embrace this challenge. Being the captain of a team that has a solid fan base is an incredible feeling. I spoke to coach Jacques Kallis. He is someone who speaks very little. But whatever he says will have a lot of meaning to it. Our strength is our bowling attack. We have good experience in the batting department and I'm looking forward to it," he added.

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