Karthik growing in stature as the ‘Finisher’ for RCB

Dinesh Karthik has been very much the Finisher for Royal Challengers Bangalore at this IPL.

That is a role he has been wanting to do for Team India too. A role he has been playing to great effect for the teams he plays for.

A few months before the coronavirus pandemic broke out, one recalls watching Karthik take apart the bowlers at the Vijay Hazare Trophy one-day tournament at Jaipur.

Leading the Tamil Nadu side, he chose to bat lower down the order and came up with 97 off 62 balls (against Bengal) and 65 not out off 28 balls (against Madhya Pradesh). “I want to do what M.S. Dhoni has been doing for India for many years,” he had said then.

He still has that fire in him to play for the country. “I have been trying everything to be part of the Indian team,” he had said last month after picking up the Player-of-the-Match award for his 34-ball 66 not out against Delhi Capitals at the Wankhede Stadium here.

On his return to the famed venue on Sunday, he got just eight balls to face against Sunrisers Hyderabad. He still hammered 30 not out.

That took his aggregate for the season so far to 274 runs off 137 balls, at a strike rate of 200 and an average of 68.50. He has made those runs with dazzling footwork and sublime timing.

You may not find too many better finishers in the game at the moment. Little wonder former England captain Michael Vaughan tweeted, “DK has to be in the Indian T20 World Cup team.”

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