Veteran India cricketer Dinesh Karthik appeared on the recent episode of the RCB podcast and made startling revelations about his cricketing career. One of the many topics Karthik shed light was on his competition with legendary Indian captain MS Dhoni for a place in the team. The now 37-year-old made his international debut in 2004, three months before Dhoni announced himself to the world cricket.
Karthik debuted for India in the ODIs in September 2004, before making his maiden Test appearance in November. Dhoni then got picked a month later and scored a stunning knock of 148 runs in his second series, playing against arch-rivals Pakistan. Dhoni hardly turned back as he went on to become a mainstay for three years, before leading India to the inaugural T20 World Cup win in 2007.
Meanwhile, speaking on the RCB podcast, Karthik said, “I made my debut before him. We went together on an India A tour and from there I got picked to the Indian team. That was the first time I played a match together with him. I did so well that they picked me for the Indian team. From there, they went on another trip, there was a ODI tournament where he just blasted it there with boundaries and sixes. The world was still getting used to something like that, it was that sort of thing. People stood up and said there is nobody like him. They said he’s a special player”.
“He became a brand overnight”
The RCB wicketkeeper batter further added that he did return to the team but the ‘Dhoni mania’ was too big by then, as he struggled to find a place. “I was chasing excellence. I was constantly on the path of becoming the best batter in the world. Dhoni was there, he wasn’t there – that wasn’t my lookout. He was doing very well for himself. I knew that he had settled in all team. And he made no mistake. They sent him up an order, he got a hundred in ODI. He then went to Test cricket and scored 85. He kept brilliantly. Most importantly, he became a brand overnight. People were after him. He was huge right from the outset. I remained the under study but I was always on the lookout for opportunities,” he further explained.
Karthik remained on and off the Indian team for years and most recently made a stunning comeback into the squad ahead of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022. After joining RCB for the IPL 2022 season, the veteran cricketer was among the top scorers for the team, which earned him an India recall. He then went on to play for India at the T20 World Cup 2022, at the age of 37.