The man with different strokes can play different roles — in front of the mike or behind it.
Dinesh Karthik will be seen in the role of a television commentator in the World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand.
Karthik told The Hindu on Thursday, “I was a bit fortunate the way it came to me. I think I can bring to the table things like technique and strategy.”
Knowing the players
And, he can provide insight into players’ minds. “I have played with the cricketers in both teams, know the way they think and will try to get into their heads.”
New Zealand was a very good side but India had the firepower, Karthik said. “We have a potent pace attack. And if we can build partnerships, I see no reason why we cannot win.”
Karthik may be in the commentary box for the big game, but he hasn’t given up on his India dreams.
The thought of playing for India again fires him up. “The passion is still there. The prospect of playing for the country again in white-ball cricket is what keeps me going.”
Karthik revealed he had made peace with the fact that he might not play Test cricket again. “But I am gung-ho about my chances of figuring in the World Twenty20 championship. If I have a good IPL in September-October, I could get picked.”
The street-smart Karthik averages 33.25 for India in Twenty20 Internationals at a worthy strike rate of 143.52. These are very good numbers.
And he has conjured up nuggets such as his stunning eight-ball unbeaten 29 in the Nidahas tri-series final in Colombo, 2018.
His innings included a sensational last ball six — a whip-drive over extra cover off Bangladesh seamer Soumya Sarkar — when India needed five.
“That was a life-changing innings,” Karthik remembered with a smile. He had donned the role of a finisher to perfection.
Karthik is suited for that role with his composure under pressure and rapier-like blows that can scuttle bowling plans and scatter field settings.
Fitting the bill
He is 36, but talk about age and he shows his displeasure. “We live in an era where fitness parameters are set for a cricketer. You have to clear those fitness tests to be picked in the Indian team. So, if you are fit, where is the question of age.”
Whether leading Tamil Nadu to title triumph in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Twenty20 championship or knocking up quick runs for Kolkata Knight Riders, or plucking a gravity-defying catch with the big gloves, Karthik is a man of action.
And he still has gas left in the tank.