Not only that, but Dravid also made it clear that Karthik will be used in the finisher’s role, with which he made his comeback to the squad following a stunning exhibition of death overs hitting in the IPL 2022 for the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Karthik had a blockbuster IPL season – where he struck 330 runs at an average of 55, but more importantly, his strike rate of 183 stood out and was unarguably the best finisher of the tournament. On the back of this highly consistent and blockbuster season, the 37-year-old has returned to the national fold after three years.
Dinesh Karthik has been picked to bat in a similar position: Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid was effusive in praise of Karthik’s finishing abilities and recognised that the Tamil Nadu batsmen should be used in a “particular phase” of the innings only.
“I think with Dinesh it’s obvious that he’s made his comeback showing his skills in a particular phase of the game,” Dravid said in the pre-series press conference.
“At the backend, he’s been really been able to be a point of difference in the last few games. He’s been picked to bat in a similar position and whether he can replicate that for India as well,” the head coach added.
Dinesh Karthik is the only member not retired from the Indian team which played the first T20I way back in 2006 vs South Africa. Memorably, Karthik was the Player of the Match for finishing a chase. 16 years after that, Karthik still remains active, and will again play the finisher’s role, once again against South Africa.
After the first T20I on Thursday, in Delhi, the teams fly to Cuttack for the second T20I, on Sunday, followed by matches in Visakhapatnam, Rajkot and the series will conclude on June 19th in Bangalore.