File photo of Dinesh Karthik. Photograph:( AFP )
Dinesh Karthik has made a comeback in the Indian team for the upcoming five-match T20I series versus South Africa, soon after the conclusion of IPL 2022.
On Sunday (May 22), the BCCI selection committee announced an 18-member Team India squad for the upcoming five-match T20I series versus South Africa, starting from June 09. While the big guns such as regular captain Rohit Sharma, former skipper Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah have been rested, KL Rahul will lead the line-up, which also sees the comeback of Dinesh Karthik.
Karthik, who had donned the commentator's hat last year, has seen his career getting revived in IPL 2022, where he is representing the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). Karthik got a new lease of life at the RCB, where he has made heads turn being a fantastic finisher for the three-time runners-up and rescuing them from several precarious situations. In 14 games, Karthik has amassed 287 runs at an average of 57.40 and a strike rate of 191.
Thus, Karthik's IPL 15 knocks have helped him make a comeback in Team India setup. In a video shared by RCB, the veteran keeper-batter thanked Bengaluru's top brass Sanjay Bangar, Mike Hesson and Indian captain Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid for instilling faith on him.
"Very happy. Very very very satisfying. I must say this has been my most memorable comeback because a lot of people had given up on me and for me to do what I did, practice with the way I did with my coach Nayar. So many special things in the lead to the auction and how I practiced post that. I lot of credit also to Sanjay Bangar and Mike Hesson. The clarity that they gave me to execute the role that I wanted to, in many ways I am indebted to RCB for picking me and believing in me," said Karthik who was roped in by the francse for 5.50 crore at IPL mega auction.
"A lot of credit must go to the selectors, Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid because these days with so many young boys putting their names for selection, to see the skillset that is there and then to believe that this is the guy we need for the World Cup, it is a very very humbling feeling. I know the journey is still there to the World Cup but to be a part of the scheme of things and giving me an opportunity to showcase my skills and I am very proud of it," Karthik added.
"I started believing but people around me gave me a feeling saying I should not dream too much. I took up the role of a commentator and that made it look like I am no more interested in trying to come back to the Indian team but I have always said that for me, playing for the Indian team is the priority, because I had time I did it. I am very excited overall," he signed off.
India's T20I squad for South Africa series - KL Rahul (Capt), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant(VC) (wk), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Hardik Pandya, Venkatesh Iyer, Y Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, R Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik