Tamil Nadu stalwart, Dinesh Karthik, is one the many wicket-keeper batsmen to feature for Team India during Sourav Ganguly’s reign as the skipper of the ‘Men in Blue’. The BCCI selectors tried several options before MS Dhoni arrived at the scene.
Karthik, on the back of his spectacular records in the domestic circuit, earned an international ODI debut for India in 2004 against vs England, at the age of 19. The 35-year-old later made his Test debut in the same year against Australia.
However, he couldn’t cement his place in the team, following a string of low scores. Karthik’s exclusion from the spot, paved the way for MS Dhoni, who after a couple of howlers, cemented his place for many more years to come.
Dhoni’s ability to play match-winning knocks, under pressure, closed the doors for other wicket-keeper batsmen, including Karthik. However, Karthik and Dhoni featured together in several games, but the former failed to make an impact.
In the absence of Dhoni, Karthik did fairly well behind the stumps, but it wasn’t enough to find a permanent spot in the playing XI. In a recent interaction with Saurav Ghosal on Finish Line, Karthik opined about being in the same era as MS Dhoni.
Karthik revealed that the pressure of performing better than MS Dhoni, took the sting out of his international career. He added that he couldn’t get away with doing something ordinary, due to the presence of MS Dhoni.
“I think, throughout my career, there was one thing that’s for sure – it was the fact that there was a lot of pressure whenever I played games. Just the fact that I had to be a part of the side I had to be something, it had to be something special. I just couldn’t do ordinary stuff and be a part of the side because there was an enigma named MS Dhoni around the team,” said Karthik.
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Dinesh, who recently stepped down from his role as the skipper of IPL franchise KKR, reckoned that he had his fair share of up’s and down’s, but added that it helped to learn that life is never going to be the same and one has to constantly work harder.
“So, when you have a player like that (MS Dhoni) around, you’ve to seize the moments with something special. At times I seized it and at times I did not hence life is not always going to be a bed of roses, at times as an individual you do have to run the tough race as well,” he added.