Alzarri Joseph was hit cleanly to short third, and Ravindra Jadeja swung his bat in rage over the stumps. In 16 overs on a sticky, two-paced Tarouba field, India has amassed 138 for 6.
Regularly slowing down the pitch and keeping the ball out of the batters’ reach are Jason Holder and company. With a large crowd rallying around them, West Indies can tell they are onto something.
But in the opening international match at the Brian Lara Stadium, Dinesh Karthik spoils the celebration for the West Indies with an unbeaten 19-ball 41 that pushes India to 190 for 6. Karthik is the only Indian batsman to get over 150 runs on a difficult surface where wickets dropped in bunches.
After expertly finishing off innings for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL and for India in the T20Is at home against South Africa, Karthik produced another finishing move in the Caribbean, bolstering his case for a spot in India’s XI at the T20 World Cup, which gets underway in October of this year in Australia.
Karthik has struck at 210.91 in T20 cricket’s final overs since the IPL 2022 began. Tim David (226.72) and James Neesham (220.45) are the only players who have played at least 10 innings during this time with a better strike rate.
Even though Karthik has received extensive training for the finisher’s position, the Friday circumstances were not in his favour. At one point, he was on 17 after 12 pitches; India had no other suitable batting alternatives beyond him, and the ball kept halting at the hitters. Karthik could not be stopped, nevertheless.
Karthik shuffled over and pushed everything into a swipe that soared over midwicket for six when Holder missed a yorker. When there was no cover in the deep, Holder moved around the stumps and angled a length ball across, but Karthik stretched out like Mister Fantastic from the Marvel Universe and scythed it over covers for four. To make matters worse for West Indies, they were only allowed to use four fielders outside the 30-yard line because of an in-game punishment for their sluggish overrate.
In the final over, Karthik further damaged them by smashing the ball over the infield for two additional fours and a sixth six. To counter Obed McCoy’s change-ups in that penultimate over, Karthik used a greater backlift while pointing towards the first slip, ala AB de Villiers.
Ashwin sat back and exclaimed, “Nallarukku [This is good], DK,” at the other end. Ashwin was one of the people who used to go to Chepauk simply to see Karthik bat back in the day. Karthik is currently at the height of his abilities and is so certain of his position that he can finish well under any circumstances.
Karthik has always valued both games and practice time. He had gone to Theni, which is roughly 500 kilometers from Chennai, to play in a T20 event for his club, India Cements, before the IPL 2022. Karthik travelled to Coimbatore to play a T20 game for his TNPL team Tiruppur Tamizhans on a slow surface before the Caribbean tour because he needed some playing time.
He still makes excellent use of all that preparation at the age of 37 and refutes the doubters. Karthik’s international comeback has been ruled out, according to Shanker Basu, the Royal Challengers’ fitness coach, who made the announcement on the BeerBiceps podcast.
The Indian team’s management is now willing to shift other hitters to make place for Karthik to bat towards the conclusion of the game because his return has been so successful. Even in two demonstrations, T20 matches played in England, he served as the Indian team’s captain. He is one step closer to winning the finisher’s spot for the upcoming T20 World Cup thanks to his most recent performance.
Disclaimer: The insights expressed in this article are those of the author. This article was not written or edited by Empireweekly.com; it was published on July 30, 2022.