Dinesh Karthik had hit a last ball six to win the Nidahas Trophy 2018 for India | AFP
Dinesh Karthik had hit a last ball six to win the Nidahas Trophy 2018 for India | AFP

Dinesh Karthik’s valiant innings in the Nidahas Trophy 2018 final showed his robust character. The 32-year-old is getting compared with arguably one of the best finishers in world cricket, MS Dhoni. Karthik is also said to be taking over Dhoni’s finishing role since the latter is losing his magical touch.

However, in Dhoni’s respect, Karthik said he needs to go a long way to reach the former India skipper’s level. “When it comes to Dhoni, I am studying in the university in which he is the topper,” Karthik said.

“So, it is unfair for me to be compared with him. I’ve started my journey. It (final heroics) has given me a new wind of hope. His journey has been totally different. I’ve always been an understudy. I’ve always looked up to him. Today he is helping out the youngsters. The way he has gone on from strength to strength is for people to see and learn,” Karthik said on Tuesday.

The wicket-keeper batsman called his performance good karma for doing good things in cricket. “It is probably good karma I guess, for all the good things I’ve done all through my cricketing career! It probably helped me hit that six. Probably all the good things you do over the years fetched me that two millimeters extra (beyond the boundary)! It just feels good hat suddenly after so many years there is lot of attention on me, which is different to what it is when you are playing domestic cricket. From here on I want to do things like that consistently,” said Karthik and added that the Test call-up in South Africa was a “massive confidence booster”.

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Karthik revealed how Mumbai cricketer Abhishek Nayar played a major role to make him mentally strong.“He has been the river and I’ve been the boat. I’ve just gone along in whatever path he gave me. He has made me do things that I’m not comfortable doing. He has helped me prepare for games, made me think better in terms of strategy. It is hard to put in words how indebted I’m to him. He made sure that I didn’t make the mistakes he did.”

MS Dhoni and Dinesh Karthik
MS Dhoni and Dinesh Karthik

Karthik wants to be part of Indian team as a flexible player. “I have always enjoyed playing as a batsman. In the T20s, I’ve been asked to play at six and seven. I’ve finished a few innings. It feels good and the most important thing is to keep doing it consistently. That’s what I’m focusing on. In ODIs, they are looking at slightly up the order. I’m just keeping all my options open and develop into a cricketer who can play according to the situation,” he added.

The veteran cricketer has got a new role in IPL. He will be seen leading Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the upcoming season. “It has come at the right stage. I want to embrace this challenge. Being the captain of a team that has a solid fan base is an incredible feeling. I spoke to coach Jacques Kallis. He is someone who speaks very little. But whatever he says will have a lot of meaning to it. Our strength is our bowling attack. We have good experience in the batting department and I’m looking forward to it,” he added.

By Sihyeu Prakash Singh