My most special comeback, says Dinesh Karthik on India recall for SA T20Is

Dinesh Karthik has called his selection for India’s upcoming home T20I series against South Africa his “most special comeback” to the national team. Karthik, who had been on the sidelines since India’s semi-final exit in the 2019 ODI World Cup, was picked following an impressive Indian Premier League season, in which he has finished several games successfully for Royal Challengers Bangalore at a standout strike-rate of 191.33.

“Very happy, very, very satisfying… must say that this has been probably my most special comeback, because a lot of people had given up on me,” Karthik said in a video posted by RCB on their Twitter handle. “For me to come back and do what I did, practise the way I did with my coach (Abhishek) Nayar, things that have happened in the lead-up to the auction, and how I practised post that… a lot of credit also to (RCB head coach) Sanjay Bangar and (RCB director of cricket operations) Mike Hesson, I think the clarity that they gave me to execute the role that I wanted to do, in many ways (I’m) indebted to RCB for picking me and giving me that role, believing in me and then me coming out here and trying to do my best for this team RCB. All in all, a very happy feeling… I am very excited overall.”

Karthik also credited the national selectors and the Indian team management for preferring his skillset despite his advancing years – he’ll turn 37 next week – amid all the young talent available.

“A lot of credit must go to the selectors, Rohit (Sharma) and (Rahul) Dravid, because these days you have so many young boys putting up their hands for selection… to see the skillset that is there and to believe that this is the guy we need for the (T20) World Cup, it is a very, very humbling feeling.” Karthik said. “I know the journey is still there to the World Cup but being a part of the scheme of things and giving an opportunity for me to showcase my skills, I am very proud of it.

Karthik – who was previously with Kolkata Knight Riders and also did commentary for India’s England tour last year – said that despite those around him not quite backing his comeback dream, he had never stopped believing he could do it. “I think I started believing for a long time now, I was always believing but people around me gave me the feel that you should not dream too much.

“I took up the role of a commentator for a bit and obviously that made it look like I was no more interested in trying to come back to the Indian team but I have always said that for me, playing in the Indian team is the priority. Because I had time, I did it (commentary).”

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