Dinesh Karthik Delighted with IPL Opener Performance Despite Limited Preparation

Dinesh Karthik Delighted with IPL Opener Performance Despite Limited Preparation

Veteran wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik has expressed his satisfaction with his performance in the IPL opener despite limited game and preparation time due to his commentary commitments. Since the last IPL, the only competitive cricket Karthik played was in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. He was on air during the recently concluded India-England Test series and admitted that finding training time in between his commentary duties was challenging.

Karthik, who is playing his last IPL, made an unbeaten 38 off 26 balls to help RCB recover to 173 for six against CSK on Friday night. By his own admission, he was rusty in the middle. "It's been extremely challenging, doing a bit of commentary and to keep practicing cricket between Test matches and in between the time that I get, it's been a lot of hard work," Karthik told reporters after the game. "So, I am happy that Game 1 has gone positively for me, and it feels good to score some runs."

The 38-year-old is hoping that play-offs happen at his home ground here and he can return to Chepauk to play his last IPL game. "Time will tell, I guess. I genuinely wish it's not because the last couple of (playoff) games will be here, so I could be back for that, which could then be my last (here)," he said when asked if it could be last game in Chennai.

Defending champions CSK was able to chase down 174 comfortably on a good batting track. CSK pacer Mustafizur Rahman produced his best IPL figures of 4-29 to make the difference. Karthik was all praise for the left-arm pacer from Bangladesh. "He bowled brilliantly. He showed his skills in all the three spells," he reckoned. "He is bowling a lot quicker than he normally does and hits the right lengths. The slower balls came out well. It was a very good pitch. Not the usual slow Chepauk turner that we are visualising in our mind. The ball skid on a lot more, and it was good for batting, and he (Rahman) bowled well. What makes it tough is that he can bowl at 138/139 (kmph), and then he has a slower one, which is very deceptive. And he bowls it at 121/125 (km/h), which makes it hard to line him up.

For RCB, Anuj Rawat was the top scorer with 48 and his 95-run stand with Karthik allowed the team to post a fighting total. "I couldn't be happier for him. He has been a part of this team for two years, and people can see how much talent he has. The ball flies off his bat. He has got great bat speed and is a strong boy. He works hard at the nets," said Karthik. "The last two years haven't exactly panned out. Last year, he showed towards the end how good he is, but today (Friday), he showed what skills he has got. I just wish he keeps continuing this form because he is a key player for us. A left-arm hander through the middle and hits the long ball with a lot of power. So, it's great to see him do so well," he added.

Tags: #IndianPremierLeague, #IPL, #cricket, #Twenty20, #DineshKarthik

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