Aakash Chopra highlights consistency of Dinesh Karthik: Key stats
Indian batter Dinesh Karthik made his international debut in September 2004, three months before legend MS Dhoni earned his maiden call-up. The latter retired in 2020, while Karthik recently made his T20I comeback. Karthik, who hovered nowhere near Team India, caught the attention of Indian selectors with his impressive run this year. Highlighting this, former Indian batter Akash Chopra heaped praise on Karthik.
Karthik has aced the finisher's role
Karthik has been assigned with the finisher's role in Team India. He batted at number four in the India-SA T20I series. "Batting is very difficult at the number he bats. The way he has played, he has been brilliant. It has been a very long career (debuting in 2004), Dhoni's entire international career got over in between but DK is still there," said Chopra.
Karthik averages 52.75 in T20s this year
Karthik is enjoying the form of his life. He has averaged a stupendous 52.75 across 20 T20s played this year. He has belted 422 runs at a mouth-dropping rate of 177.31. That includes a stellar campaign with the Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2022. Karthik hoarded 330 runs while averaging a prolific 55.00 for the Royal Challengers. He had a strike rate of 183.33.
Oldest Indian to smash a T20I fifty
Karthik featured in India's first-ever T20 International in December 2006, against South Africa (Johannesburg). Nearly 16 years later, against the same opposition, the Indian wicket-keeper-batter brought up his maiden T20I half-century. The right-handed batter hammered 55 (27) against the Proteas in the fourth T20I on Friday. Karthik, 37, became the oldest Indian to have registered a fifty in the format.
Highest T20I score by an Indian at number six or lower
Karthik now has the highest score by an Indian at number six or lower in T20I cricket (55 vs SA, Rajkot). He broke the record of Dhoni, who slammed an unbeaten 52 against South Africa in 2018.
How did Karthik and Dhoni fare in international cricket?
As stated, both Karthik and Dhoni made their international debuts in the same year (2004). While Karthik never managed to cement his spot across formats, Dhoni went on to become India's most successful captain in international cricket. The former played just 32 T20Is before the South Africa T20I series. Karthik has finally rediscovered his mojo following a stellar IPL season.
Karthik is in contention to play the T20 World Cup
Karthik, who made his international return after three years, was a huge plus for India in the SA series. He compiled 92 runs averaging a phenomenal 46.00. The senior batter is now in contention to play the T20 World Cup later this year. Interestingly, before the SA series, Karthik's last international appearance was in the 2019 50-over World Cup (semi-final vs New Zealand).