Dinesh Karthik played yet another match-winning knock on Saturday. Pic: IPLT20.COM
The 36-year-old has been in spectacular form for his franchise in IPL 2022. In six matches, he has clobbered 197 runs at a stupendous strike rate of 209.57. He was the Player of the Match for his superb knock of 66* in 34 balls against the Delhi Capitals (DC) on Saturday.
Speaking at the post-match presentation, the veteran batter asserted that he has a bigger goal in mind. Karthik elaborated:
“I have a bigger goal – I’ve been working really really hard. Sometimes people don’t believe it, but my aim is to do something special for the country. This is part of the journey. I am doing everything I can to be part of that Indian team. This is one step in that direction.”
When Karthik came in to bat on Saturday, RCB were in massive trouble at 92 for 5 despite Glenn Maxwell’s half-century. Asked how he paces his innings under difficult circumstances, the in-form batter explained that it is about respecting bowlers who are bowling well and picking the right ones to go after. He stated:
“I thought Kuldeep (Yadav) was bowling really well today so I felt I should respect that and take on the bowlers later. (Standing deep in the crease) When you’re batting at the death, it gives you a chance to get under the ball so that you can hit it outside. That’s one of the things I have tried doing as it suits my batting and it seems to be working.”
Karthik was also pleased to know that people have started associating him with calmness. He jokingly added that earlier he was always known as a restless personality. He attributed a part of his success to his preparations before going out in the middle. The 36-year-old elaborated:
“Positions and calmness comes from preparations – when you prepare, you know how to go about your innings. Apart from that, it’s about staying in the moment. I know it sounds like a cliché but that’s how it is.”
Karthik’s unbeaten half-century against DC lifted RCB to a competitive 189 for 5. Josh Hazlewood (3 for 28) and Mohammed Siraj (2 for 31) then shone with the ball as Bangalore restricted Delhi to 173 for 7.
“I think he’s a very special player” – Dinesh Karthik on Shahbaz Ahmed
RCB have found a great lower-order batting pair in Karthik and Shahbaz Ahmed. On Saturday, the duo added an unbroken 97 for the sixth wicket. The latter’s contribution in the partnership was 32* off 21. Praising the left-handed batter, the Player of the Match said:
“I think he’s a very special player. I’m very sure he’s going to do something special in his life as a cricketer. He is up for a challenge. People think that, with the way he looks, he probably wouldn’t hit a ball. But he can hit the ball a long way and he backs himself to do that. I love that about him.”
27-year-old Ahmed has played a key role for RCB with the bat in IPL 2022, having registered scores of 27, 45, 41 and 32* in his four innings so far.