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IPL 2024: Karthik credits Dayal, Patidar for Bengaluru’s remarkable run

The India stumper opened up to DH about the transitional challenges on a personal front, and of the culture in RCB besides waxing lyrical about the ‘kids’ on the side.
Last Updated : 20 May 2024, 22:51 IST
Last Updated : 20 May 2024, 22:51 IST

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Bengaluru: Little over two months ago, Dinesh Karthik was dapper in the air-conditioned confines of commentary boxes across the country as he lent his expertise to India’s five-match Test series against England.

He has had to let go of those creature comforts for the hot seat at the crease with the Royal Challengers Bengaluru, but his expertise has shone through nevertheless. In fact, he has been an integral component in RCB making a miraculous run to the Indian Premier League play-offs.

With 315 runs from 14 games and an impressive strike rate of 195.65, Dinesh has been a key component down the order and behind the stumps too.

The India stumper opened up to DH about the transitional challenges on a personal front, and of the culture in RCB besides waxing lyrical about the ‘kids’ on the side.

Excerpts:

How did the team maintain confidence or even motivation when you’re off to such a bad start?

It was tough. It’s not too often that you lose seven out of the eight games you play. Not many teams have encountered that so early in the tournament. Credit to the support staff and the senior players including Virat (Kohli) and Faf (du Plessis). They helped us stay afloat. They never wavered in their belief that we would make it through. It’s a dark, dark place to be, but the way those guys have walked the walk and talked the talk has been amazing.

It was more about the choices that we were presented in the game and the decisions we took. We were told to play a certain brand of cricket, an aggressive one, and not worry about the result. It will come your way if you play with the right intent. Senior players such as Faf and Virat… the intensity Virat brought to batting and fielding was just phenomenal, to do that or have that drive after so many years in the sport, is special.

Did that attitude rub off on the juniors on the side?

I think credit must go to the culture that’s built. It is one of the toughest things to achieve in a two-month time frame. That’s where you have to give RCB a lot of credit for the support start. It has been a hard start for them, a new set of people coming in, it takes time for them to find their feet. It takes time to drill in the culture. Youngsters typically tend to learn by watching the seniors in the group.

Do you reckon Yash Dayal and Rajat Patidar are the future?

This tournament would have been very different for us if Rajat hadn’t played the way he did or Yash had not bowled the way he did. These two youngsters, I hope, go on to play for the country for a long, long time because the team was down and out, they put up performances to show that they are among the best in the world. They are special.

Speaking of Dayal, what was going through your mind when his first delivery (in the final league game against Chennai Super Kings) was hit for a six by MS Dhoni?

Even at that point, I somehow believed we would cross the line. I still had that belief, when the ball went outside, I was thinking we’re likely to get a dry ball, which works for us. For him (Dayal) to come out and execute was brilliant. Those four deliveries are going to make him a world champion bowler. In those big moments, he stood up. You have to understand that he was taken down last year for five sixes in an over (by Rinku Singh), when he’s standing there, surely those doubts came to haunt him, but to cross that barrier against one of the greatest batters of all time, is special. Really proud of that kid for having stood up to two of the best middle-order batters in cricket. Game is on the line, the tournament is on the line and he delivered. 

On a personal note, how challenging was it for you to transition from commentary to playing in a span of a month or two?

I had plenty of doubts and plenty of negative thoughts about what could happen personally. That’s where you have to back what the coach says and what the process should be. Choosing to do various things, be it practice, be it being on the right diet for over three months consistently. Sacrificing a lot in that time, staying away from family. Not much motivation at times but you power through. All of these challenges come in the way but this is part of getting ready for a battle. Then you have to go out there and believe what you have practiced is going to work out.

Did your stint in the commentary box change your perception of the game as a player?

It has been very interesting. I am not going to say everyone needs to commentate to make better players, but it has helped me on a personal level. I have understood that I don’t have to take what others say too seriously, you can be a bit more relaxed about how they talk about you, it’s nothing personal, it’s what they feel in that moment as to how you have done in that moment. That’s how I look at it, it has eased me. You tend to get worked up about these things, but it is good for me to have had that time spent in the comm box with the legends of the game, picking their brains. It has enlightened me to know that it’s good to be out there but as a player you don’t need to get affected by it.

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Published 20 May 2024, 22:51 IST

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