Dinesh Karthik has been nothing but a revelation this IPL. With a score of 30 from just 8 balls and hammering at a strike rate of 375, the RCB wicket-keeper managed to halt celebrations briefly in the SRH camp. With four sixes and a boundary, Karthik's performance was praiseworthy.
After Virat Kohli's dismissal on the golden duck, Faf du Plessis, Rajat Patidar, and Glenn Maxwell played a massive role in contributing runs for the team. However, Patidar and Maxwell got out on 48 and 33. It was Karthik's turn to enter the field. After running for two, Karthik smashed a six against Kartik Tyagi in the second last over. In the last over Karthik hit three sixes and a boundary against Fazalhaq Farooqi and finished the innings for RCB in style, yet again.
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This was not the first time when Karthik emerged as a game-changer in the T20 format.
Karthik made his T20 debut in 2006 when India toured South Africa - this was India's first international T20 match as well - and has played 32 games for India. A veteran of 218 IPL games, the former KKR skipper is slowly turning out to be a showstopper.
On his T20I debut, South Africa set India a target of 126 runs. Karthik came to bat at No.5 in the 12th over with India's score at 71/3. Karthik and Dinesh Mongia forged a 37-run partnership. Later, Karthik with Suresh Raina helped India win the match by 6 wickets. The Tamil Nadu wicketkeeper-batsman was named the player of the match for his valuable contribution of 31 off 28 balls with 3 fours and a six.
Whenever there is a discussion about the Nidahas trophy final between India and Bangladesh in 2018, Karthik's match-winning knock of 29 runs in 8 balls with 3 sixes and 2 boundaries is remembered.
Karthik came to bat at No. 7 when the match was inclined in Bangladesh's favour. India needed 34 runs in 12 balls with Rubel Hussain steaming in to bowl the 19th over. Rubel had taken two wickets and given 13 runs in three overs. If Bangladesh thought they had the match in their pocket, Karthik had other plans.
Karthik began with six in the first ball, followed it up with a boundary, and then smacked Rubel into the stands to fetch 22 runs in the over. In the final over, India needed 5 off the last ball and a flat six over extra cover sealed the deal as Karthik walked back to a standing ovation.
In the 11th edition of IPL, Karthik was named the captain of Kolkata Knight Riders. He demonstrated his talent and gave justice to his assigned role of finisher. He scored 498 runs, his second-best aggregate after the 2013 edition. In the eliminator between KKR and RR, Rahane-led Royals chose to bowl first.
KKR were struggling at 51/4 in 8 overs. Karthik stepped forward and made 52 off 38 balls. His valuable partnerships with Shubman Gill and Andre Russell helped KKR post a target of 170. Eventually, the Knight Riders won the match by 25 runs.
Fast forward to the ongoing 15th edition of IPL where his team RCB currently stands at fourth position on the points table. Karthik has proved his worth through his quality batting and contributed to the surge in the RCB scoreboard. After 12 innings, he has scored 274 runs at an average of 68.50 and a strike rate of 200.
With the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 scheduled to be held in Australia later this year, Karthik is making a strong case for himself with his finishing prowess. With an unbeaten 44 as his highest at a brilliant strike rate of 218.33, Karthik if off the blocks in a flash.
Having found the sweet spot, the wicketkeeper-batsman would like to continue the same form and win games for RCB. And in the process, might also earn a ticket to Down Under.