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With Dhoni in team, I'm just a small first-aid kit, says Dinesh Karthik

KOLKATA: Dinesh Karthik used to be having lunch on Monday along with his wife and Kolkata Knight Riders CEO Venky Mysore when Dipika's phone rang. Her father used to be at the other aspect and conveyed the excellent news that just about had Karthik jumping with pleasure. He had reasons to be elated, for it used to be after 12 years that Karthik had made it again to India's World Cup squad.


"It is a special occasion. I am really lucky and grateful," he said all the way through an interplay with select media individuals at KKR's team hotel on Tuesday.

Looking again, the wicket-keeper batsman pointed out that his (2nd) World Cup journey had begun two years again.

"My journey for the 2019 World Cup began when I returned to the Indian team in 2017. I started believing that if I do something special, I can be part of this amazing team that will play the World Cup," he mentioned. Many felt Karthik had missed the World Cup bus when he used to be disregarded for India's house sequence against Australia because the selectors named Rishabh Pant because the wicket-keeper. Karthik, alternatively, insisted that it used to be planned that means and therefore he did not feel upset.

"The chairman (MSK Prasad) called me up and said that 'we have decided to give both the wicket-keepers equal opportunities'. Prasad made it clear that they will be giving me an opportunity on India's tour of Australia and New Zealand, and irrespective of my performance, Rishabh (Pant) will be given his chance in India's home series against Australia. It was very clear communication and I liked the clarity," he said.

Although Prasad indicated on Monday that Karthik had been picked as a canopy for Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the Tamil Nadu player mentioned that he's ready to take up any position that the team management would possibly assign to him. "Look, as far as MS Dhoni is concerned, I am just that small first-aid kit that will travel with the team. If he (Dhoni) gets injured then I will be the band-aid for a day," Karthik mentioned in a lighter vein. "I am, however, aware that I can bat at No. 4 or be the finisher, if given an opportunity. Post IPL, I will prepare everyday knowing and believing that I can deliver purely as a batsman as I have performed that role earlier," he mentioned.

Talking about his position of a finisher during which he excelled in the Nidhas Trophy, Karthik mentioned "a lot of credit should go to Abhishek Nayar for making me play the finisher's role. He made me believe that it was a skill that I could acquire if I practice in a certain way and learn to a few types of shots. However, I never planned to be a finisher. I just tried to be consistent and deliver in crunch situations."

In spite of nationwide talks a few selection war between him and Pant, the 2 never discussed it after they met all the way through IPL. "There will always be someone who will miss out. That's the nature of the game. But we (Pant and I) never talked about it. He was aware of his opportunity and so was I. If he had been selected, I would have been disappointed. Now that I have been selected, I'm sure he is a bit disappointed," Karthik mentioned.

Karthik, alternatively, sees a bright long term for the Delhi boy and is also keen to percentage the India dressing room with Pant after the World Cup.

"Pant is a special player. I am sure he is going to play for India for a long time. If I can play along with Dhoni, why can't we two (Pant and I) also share the dressing room post World Cup," he mentioned.

Having Vijay Shankar in the squad is an added advantage for Karthik. "At least I will have one guy with whom I can speak in Tamil and go out for my dosa and idli consistently."

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