Karthik has been named as a replacement to injured Wriddhiman Saha, for the one-off Test against Afghanistan.
And having last played in the five-day format in 2010, Karthik gave an honest reply when asked why he believes he couldn’t wear the whites for India for all these years – “he wasn’t as good as Dhoni”.
“Look, I think I wasn’t good enough, rather I was not consistent enough. That was a highly competitive environment and there was someone called MS Dhoni breathing down my neck, which caused a lot of stir in world cricket at that point of time. He went on to become one of the greatest captains India has ever produced,” he said.
“So, I didn’t lose my place to some normal cricketer; he (Dhoni) was special. I respect him for that. At that stage, I could not produce enough performance to hold on to my side. I need to be honest with myself. Now, I have another opportunity and I guess, I will try my best,” the 33-year old explained.
Now though, Karthik has a chance to make a case for himself, as he plays in place of Saha in the Test that starts June 14 at the M Chinnaswamy in Bengaluru.
He says he doesn’t wish to overburden himself by thinking about sealing his position and instead wants to keep things simple.
“If you go deep into the question on what I should do to keep out someone else, then you are taking energy away from the fact that you are competing with somebody (Afghanistan). That puts extra pressure to what already is there,” he said.
“What I am trying to do — as cliched as it may sound — is trying to be the best cricketer that I can be, not on the field but also off the field. I am trying to be consistent there, even if I don’t get an opportunity. Even if I don’t play the sport at the highest level, I want to be content with the fact that I have given everything I had — both on and off the field,” Karthik said.
“If I go into your question and start thinking about that aspect, then it will be subjective — I need to score this, I need to score that. I don’t want to keep it that way. I want to keep it in a way which is try and prepare as much as I can. And given a chance, try and deliver. I am keeping my whole process that way.”
— BCCI (@BCCI) June 11, 2018
The forecast for all five days of the Test is not encouraging with the threat of rain looming throughout. The southwest monsoon has advanced to various parts of the southern India state of Karnataka with heavy rains and winds lashing many parts of the region.
The met department has forecast rain throughout the week in the coastal and south interior districts of Karnataka – including Bangalore – according to NDTV.
Rain hampered training on the eve of the first Test, which is to be expected as June is monsoon time in southern India.
India skipper Virat Kohli added another feather to his cap on Tuesday after he was awarded the Polly Umrigar trophy for the best international cricketer in 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons during BCCI’s annual awards function.
The 29-year-old batsman has had an outstanding couple of seasons in all formats and averaged 89.6 and 75 in Test and ODIs respectively in 2017-18.
In the 2016-17 season, Kohli scored 1, 332 runs in 13 Tests at an average of 74 while in the ODI format, he amassed 1,516 runs in 27 matches at an average of 84.22.
In the women’s category, Smirti Mandhana was awarded the best international cricketer award for the 2017-18 season while Harmanpreet Kaur took home the laurels for 2016-17.
Kohli was accompanied by his wife Anushka Sharma for the award ceremony which was held in Bengaluru. The India star was delighted to receive the awards for both years in front of his wife.
“My wife’s here today so makes it more special. The awards didn’t happen last year but I’m glad it didn’t because she’s here now,” the India skipper stated after receiving the award.
The award ceremony was followed by the sixth annual MAK Pataudi Memorial lecture which was delivered by formed England batsman Kevin Pietersen. The South Africa-born star became the first non-Indian to deliver the lecture for BCCI.
Also in attendance for the ceremony was the Afghanistan cricket team who will take on India in their inaugural Test which gets underway on Thursday.