Karthik to get behind the mike at WTC final

The man with different strokes can play different roles โ€” 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, โ€œI was a bit fortunate the way it came to me. I think I can bring to the table things like technique and strategy.โ€

Knowing the players

And, he can provide insight into playersโ€™ minds. โ€œI have played with the cricketers in both teams, know the way they think and will try to get into their heads.โ€

New Zealand was a very good side but India had the firepower, Karthik said. โ€œWe have a potent pace attack. And if we can build partnerships, I see no reason why we cannot win.โ€

Karthik may be in the commentary box for the big game, but he hasnโ€™t given up on his India dreams.

The thought of playing for India again fires him up. โ€œThe passion is still there. The prospect of playing for the country again in white-ball cricket is what keeps me going.โ€

Karthik revealed he had made peace with the fact that he might not play Test cricket again. โ€œBut 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.โ€

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 โ€” a whip-drive over extra cover off Bangladesh seamer Soumya Sarkar โ€” when India needed five.

โ€œThat was a life-changing innings,โ€ 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. โ€œWe 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.โ€

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.


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