'I was waiting for this day'

Hardwork and belief finally ended cricketer Dinesh Kaarthick’s three-year-long wait to return to the national fold.

The 27-year-old wicketkeeper batsman heaved a sigh of relief on Saturday after he was selected in India’s 15-member squad for next months’ Champions Trophy in England and Wales.

“I am really happy at the moment. I was waiting for this day for sometime now. It means a lot to me,” said Kaarthick. Kaarthick, whose last of 52 ODIs was against Sri Lanka in August 2010,.

Kaarthick, who turns 28 next month, however, feels IPL was not the sole reason behind his selection. He also had an impressive first class season. Kaarthick scored 577 runs from eight Ranji Trophy matches at an average of 64 and his highest was 187.

“I would like to believe that my performances in other domestic tournaments also played a part. I have been able to carry my good from into the IPL,” he said. With two keepers in the squad, including skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Kaarthick’s ability to play anywhere in the batting order gives him an edge.

“I have always been confident in my batting ability. Besides that, I am a decent fielder. So, I look forward to doing in well in any format. Nobody can replace someone like Dhoni,” Kaarthick said.

For the time being, Kaarthick wants to focus on helping Mumbai Indians getting their maiden IPL title.

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