India bowled out Afghanistan twice on Friday as they secured victory by innings and 262 runs. Asghar Stanikzai’s men were shot out for 103 in the final session at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium. The second innings lasted just 38.4 overs after the Afghans had been dismissed for 109 in 27.5 overs in their first innings in pursuit of India’s 474.
After the match, Rahane and the Indian team were given the winners’ trophy and India’s stand-in skipper decided to invite the Afghan players to pose with the hosts and the trophy.
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.