Eyeing a comeback into the Indian Test team, wicket-keeper batsman Dinesh Karthik said he was very much capable of making an impact in the middle-order with his repertoire of shots but would never give up wicket-keeping. Karthik recently fought his way back into the ODI and T20I sides on the back of a successful domestic season but played only as batsman during the West Indies tour.
He scored an unbeaten 50 in the final ODI and a 48-run knock in the one-off T20 against the West Indies.
"I want to try to push for a spot in the Test team now that I am part of the ODI and T20 sides. That is a plausible dream for me. I would love to wear the whites again and play under Virat Kohli's captaincy. The kind of shots I have, it can make an impact in the middle-order," Karthik, who last played a Test in 2010 against Bangladesh, said.
"It is important to make use of the opportunity given to me in the One-dayers. But I don't want to keep thinking about it and put pressure on myself. The plan is to score runs whenever I get an opportunity. It feels good to score runs for the country. Feels good to be back to be back in the team. The aim is to play the World Cup in 2019."
Asked if he would consider giving up the keeping gloves to focus more on batting now that he was picked in the ODI side as a pure batsman, Karthik said, "No. I would like to call myself an all-rounder."
"I am a genuine keeper and a genuine batsman. In a sense I am a two-skilled player. I am a genuine all-rounder and can also field at any position. I have always had the confidence that I can play in any team as a batsman. Keeping comes naturally to me."
About his performance in the West Indies, he said, "I didn't play well in the first game (the fourth ODI). I was happy I could score in the final match in a winning cause. It was also nice to put up a partnership with Kohli. He is great player to play with, a good judge of a run. He is very positive and vibrant person as well. He also made me feel good."
"It is also about the impact one has on the team's overall performance. It is about what I am giving to the team in the bigger cause. This is something I am focusing on presently," he pointed out.
About CSK's return to the IPL in 2018, he said, "It is a massive challenge. You know it is not easy to build a team from scratch. We don't know anything until the rules come up."
"I would love to turn out for my home city. It is just that I have never been picked by CSK. There may be various reasons and it may be part of the franchise's strategy," he replied when asked if he would like to play for CSK.
On the BCCI's neutral venue policy for domestic cricket in the 2016-'17 season, which didn't get a favourable response during the coaches and captains conclave recently, he said, "I believe the neutral venues concept is a great effort by BCCI. But I feel teams must play at home and away as there is a lot of history attached to the home ground of every association."
He also felt that complaints with regard to doctoring of pitches by home teams can be handled by doing away with the toss.
On Afghanistan and Ireland getting Test status, Karthik said, "It will be very interesting. It has to be seen what kind of domestic set-up they have. In today's world it is important to keep Test cricket as exciting as possible."
(With PTI inputs)