After hitting an entertaining 19-ball 41 not out on Friday during India's first T20I versus West Indies, Dinesh Karthik has proclaimed that he has been enjoying his new finisher's role for the Men in Blue since IPL 2022's end. Karthik, 37, won the Player of the Match award for his sizzling knock.
The return of Dinesh Karthik is just getting better and better with time. The veteran wicket-keeper, who turned 37 this June, had an outstanding campaign with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in IPL 2022 and riding on that, he earned a recall from the national side to join the T20 setup. Similar to his designated role at RCB, Karthik has been picked as a finisher for the Men in Blue and has been sparkling with the bat more often than not in the country colours as well.
Karthik recently impressed on Friday during India's first of the five-match T20I series against West Indies that took place at Brian Lara Stadium, Trinidad. In the 15th over after Rohit Sharma was dismissed for 44-ball 64, he came to bat at No. 7, a position lower than Ravindra Jadeja. India were 127/5 in 14.5 overs when Rohit was removed on a track where batting was not easy at all. Yet, at the innings end, they posted 190/6, thanks to Karthik's breezy 19-ball 41 not out, with four fours and two sixes. In reply, West Indies were restricted to 122/8.
For his dazzling cameo, Karthik was adjudged the Player of the Match in the series opener against West Indies. At the post-match conference, he was asked about his thoughts on his proper finisher role for India. The 37-year-old termed it an 'interesting role' and revealed that he got all the backing of captain Rohit and the coaching staff, headed by Rahul Dravid.
"The wicket was a little sticky. Was not a good wicket to start on but once set, you got the pace of the wicket and you realised what kind of shots you can play. (On the finisher's role) I have been enjoying it a lot. it is a very interesting role," Karthik said at the post-match presentation ceremony after winning the Player of the Match award.
"It is not something that you can be very consistent with but on some days, you can make an impact on the team. You need the backing of the captain and coach and I have got that in abundance."
Having taken 1-0 lead, India will next play West Indies on August 1 for the second T20I at Warner Park, Basseterre, St Kitts.