Veteran Indian cricketer Dinesh Karthik, who last played for the national side in the ICC World Cup 2019, is looking to script a comeback to the T20I side and take the finisher's role, the one where MS Dhoni played for years. Karthik has been in an impressive form in domestic cricket where he has scored three half-century plus scores for Tamil Nadu in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy en route to amassing 349 runs at a stellar average of 116.33. And on the back of this splendid form, Karthik reckons he can be back in the Indian squad for the World T20 next year in Australia.
"It's [The T20 World Cup] a year away but if I feel I can keep performing and have a good [domestic] tournament, I'm sure I will go out there and play," Karthik, 34, told ESPNcricinfo. "Because, I feel it's a key part that the Indian team is looking out as well - closing out matches and have someone who can understand those situations and do the best at that point of time.
"And I feel I've done that in the short time I'd played T20s [for India]. But, post the World Cup, I didn't play; they clubbed it [poor run at the World Cup] with the T20 part of it and removed me from the team as well. But I feel that I'm well-suited to play that role Dhoni has played for so many years now. I feel I can do something like that and I've been doing that for KKR and Tamil Nadu. So, if a slot opens up there, that's something I'll be really looking forward to. The T20 World Cup is definitely something I'd want to play."
Karthik's career took a stunning turnaround after his eight-ball 29 in the Nidahas Trophy final in Colombo last year, against Bangladesh. In fact, since January 2019, Karthik's average in T20Is is the highest among Indians - 57.00 while scoring 228 runs in 14 innings. He also has the most not outs in winning cause for India - seven - while enjoying an astounding average of 138.
However, after scoring just 14 runs in two matches in World Cup 2019, Karthik fell out of favour. India since then toured West Indies for T20Is and played South Africa at home, but Karthik was not picked for either.
"I want to bat in the toughest conditions and in the place where I can give others the opportunity to play and in the hardest times in the match I think I can use my experience," he said. "As someone who has been with Tamil Nadu for so long, I feel all the tough moments could be handled by somebody like me. And in those moments I could have somebody young with me and I could guide him along those lines. So, that's the role I'm doing here."
India will next play Bangladesh at home for a three-game T20I series starting November 3.