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WI vs. Ind – 4th T20I – Dinesh Karthik

According to batsman Dinesh Karthik, the various challenges presented by the conditions in the Caribbean will help India’s preparation for the different situations during the T20 World Cup in Australia. After playing the first three T20Is in the West Indies, teams have moved to Lauderhill, Florida for the final two games of the series this weekend.
Karthik was among those who rose above the two-step pitch at Tarouba for the first T20I, using the asymmetric ground dimensions to his advantage. In the second and third games in St. Kitts, India had to deal with strong crosswinds. After struggling to adapt in the second T20I, India did much better in the third to take a 2-1 lead in the series.

“I think it’s very interesting because even at the World Cup there are three stadiums that immediately come to mind: Sydney – [where] the sides are a bit narrower and the straights longer – Adelaide, we all know the sides are very narrow and the straights are long, while in Melbourne it’s the exact opposite – the straights are short and the sides very tall. So obviously we’re going to encounter different floors everywhere we play, so the challenges will be different.

“Here the challenges were different in every place we played. The fact that every time you get an opportunity there’s a certain challenge of just walking in. That’s pressure in itself. One of the most important things of this Rohit [Sharma] and Raul [Dravid] what was talked about in the beginning of this series was adaptability and understanding of the situations. I think that’s something we’ve done pretty well so far.”

Twelve Indian players have pretty much secured their spots for the T20 World Championship, including Karthik, leaving seven or eight contenders battling for the remaining three spots. Given India’s rich talent pool, Karthik said it would be difficult for the selectors to win the last 15.

“Look, at the moment in the Indian team we have the potential to field two teams or maybe even three teams judging by the number of players available,” he said. “I don’t think many countries can boast of that, so 20 to 25 players, to have just 15 players play out of a good crowd of 40 players, they’re going to be like, ‘Oh my goodness! I could have done this team’.

Of late, Karthik has excelled in his role as a finisher, winning games for his IPL franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore and for India – both home and away. Since the start of the 2022 IPL, he has had a 205.55 batting average in death overs (17-20). Only James Neesham (227.65) and Tim David (226.72) have a better batting average than Karthik in all T20s during this period. Being a finisher comes with pressure, and Karthik has learned to embrace it.

“Pressure is a privilege at this point as a cricketer [and] as an athlete,” said Karthik. “It’s something you’re committed to [you] only if you play at the highest level and you expect certain things from you. So I’m happy; I think it’s important to make sure on any given day what the game situation is like, read the game and try to do your best on that particular day.”

“Pressure is a privilege at this point as a cricketer [and] as an athlete. It is something that is given [you] only if you play at the highest level and you expect certain things from you.”

Karthik on handling pressure

Karthik once again paid tribute to the Indian team management for fostering an environment that gave players security despite failure and the opportunity to grow into their roles.

“That’s one of the happiest that I’ve been part of the Indian team… the amount of love and affection I get, not only from the team and the fans but also from the support of the captain and the manager.

“That’s what I’ve striven for my whole life and for the captain and coach to show so much faith in me that it’s only fair that I repay that trust by making performances that will help the team to cross the line in many ways, and that’s what I’ve been trying to do.”

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