Dinesh Karthik hoping to be the finisher for India in the 2020 T20I World Cup

Sport360 staff 17:53 20/10/2019
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Wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik is hoping to make the cut for the Indian squad to play in the ICC T20 World Cup to be held in Australia in 2020. Karthik, who captains Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League, is seeking to impress in domestic competitions to remind the selectors of his value to the team as a lower-order batsman.

In the past two years, the 34-year-old has played the most number of games as a ‘finisher’ for India, batting between positions No.6 to No.8. Karthik has scored 249 runs in 20 games in that interim with a healthy strike-rate of 161.68.

The crowning moment of Karthik’s T20I career was when he produced a stunning cameo of 29 off eight balls, including a last-ball six, in the Nidahas Trophy final in Colombo last year. He walked in to bat at No.7 with the team needing 34 runs off the final two overs to win the match against Bangladesh.

“It’s [World Cup] a year away but if I feel I can keep performing and have a good [domestic] tournament, I’m sure I will go out there and play,” Karthik, told ESPNcricinfo. “Because, I feel it’s a key part that the Indian team is looking out as well – closing out matches and have someone who can understand those situations and do the best at that point of time.

“And I feel I’ve done that in the short time I’d played T20s. But, post the World Cup, I didn’t play; they clubbed it [poor form at the World Cup] with the T20 part of it and removed me from the team as well. But I feel that I’m well-suited to play that role MS Dhoni has played for so many years now.

“I feel I can do something like that and I’ve been doing that for KKR and Tamil Nadu. So, if a slot opens up there, that’s something I’ll be really looking forward to. The T20 World Cup is definitely something I’d want to play.”

He has been in sensational form for his state team Tamil Nadu in the ongoing Vijay Hazare trophy, India’s List-A tournament. Walking in at No.6, he has scored four fifties and been instrumental in his team’s nine-match winning run in the tournament.

“I want to bat in the toughest conditions and in the place where I can give others the opportunity to play and in the hardest times in the match I think I can use my experience,” he said.

“As someone who has been with Tamil Nadu for so long, I feel all the tough moments could be handled by somebody like me. And in those moments I could have somebody young with me and I could guide him along those lines. So, that’s the role I’m doing here.”

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