Dinesh Karthik has asserted that he is confident of staking a long-term claim on the No 4 position in the Indian team stating his experience of playing the position as his biggest advantage. The 32-year-old has also opened up about how his discussions with Ravi Shastri helped him make a comeback.
India's No 4 conundrum in ODI cricket has been a well-documented one and the team management has tried as many as six different players in the positions. The likes of Yuvraj Singh, Hardik Pandya, Kedar Jadhav, KL Rahul, and Manish Pandey have all been given opportunities in the last 12 months. With Pandey having a good run in Sri Lanka, he failed to impose himself against Australia. Pandya, when given the opportunity, has come good in the position and was quite impressive in the recently-concluded series against Australia.
Another player who took a shot at the position was Dinesh Karthik. His form building up to the Champions Trophy was an impressive one with his performances in the Vijay Hazare Trophy and the IPL that followed, which helped him lock down a place for himself in the Champions Trophy and the team that played in the Caribbean after the quadrennial tournament. He even scored an unbeaten 50 in the final match of the series.
But the 50 didn't help him maintain his place in the team and was dropped for the Sri Lanka tour and the Australia series that followed. But due to Manish Pandey's indifferent performances against the Aussies, Karthik has been afforded another opportunity against New Zealand.
"I think No 4 is a great position for me to bat. I have been batting there for TN in white ball cricket and it's been going good. I have done it at No 4 at various levels. At the international level too I have done it. I'm pretty confident that if given an opportunity, I will try and do the best I can," Karthik said, reported PTI.
"I had replaced Manish Pandey (in Champions trophy). Even though I did well, selectors thought Manish was fit and wanted to give him an opportunity. I was waiting for my opportunity and happy I got it now. Once you get an opportunity you try to be there (Indian team) as much as possible and do well. It's hard to keep coming back (to domestic cricket) and going in."
After being picked in the squad for the T20 series against Australia, Karthik revealed that Ravi Shastri had a word with him about his future and what he needed to do to break into the team.
"Shastri is fantastic. He told me exactly what I should be working on and how he sees me in the future. I'm very happy to have had that conversation with him. Sanjay Bangar, Bharat
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