Dinesh Karthik becomes oldest Indian to slam T20I half-century
Dinesh 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, has become the oldest Indian to have registered a fifty in the format.
A terrific partnership between Hardik Pandya and Dinesh Karthik fueled India's innings in the fourth T20I against South Africa in Rajkot. India compiled 169/6, with the duo adding 78 runs together. The Proteas had reduced India to 81/4 at one stage. However, Karthik joined Pandya in punishing the SA bowlers. Although the latter departed toward the end, Karthik slammed his maiden T20I fifty.
Karthik's maiden T20I fifty came in his 30th innings. The Indian middle-order batter now has 491 runs from 36 matches at a healthy average of 35.07. Karthik has an astonishing strike rate of 146.13 in the shortest format. It is to be noted that most of Karthik's T20I runs have come against the Proteas (152 at 30.40).
As stated, Karthik played in India's first-ever T20 International. He smashed an unbeaten 31 off 28 balls, helping India chase 127 in 19.5 overs. Notably, Karthik is the only player from that Indian team who is still playing international cricket.
Oldest Indian with a 50+ score in men's T20Is:— Kausthub Gudipati (@kaustats) June 17, 2022
37y 16d - Dinesh Karthik v SA, today
36y 229d - MS Dhoni v SA, 2018
35y 1d - Shikhar Dhawan v AUS, 2020#INDvSA
Karthik now has the highest score by an Indian at number six or lower in T20I cricket. He broke the record of former Indian captain MS Dhoni, who slammed an unbeaten 52 against South Africa in 2018. Middle-order batter Manish Pandey scored an unbeaten 50 against New Zealand in 2020. Other scores: 49 (Dhoni vs NZ, 2017), 48* (Dhoni vs Australia, 2012).