Exactly 13 years ago, Indian wicket-keeper batsman, Dinesh Karthik, made his ODI debut against England at Lord’s. Those were the times when the Indian team was still searching for a regular wicket-keeper batsman and Karthik was one of the many that were tried before MS Dhoni donned the wicket-keeping gloves for India.
Having won the first and second ODI by 7 wickets and 70 runs respectively, England had gained an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series. Sourav Ganguly, the then Indian captain, won the toss and chose to bat in the last ODI. Karthik was brought in to replace Rohan Gavaskar in the side.
England restricted India to 48-3 in 14 overs. With VVS Laxman, Mohammad Kaif and Virender Sehwag back in the pavilion, the onus was now on the captain and his deputy, Rahul Dravid. The duo stitched a 93-run partnership before Ganguly was dismissed by Steve Harmison. He scored 90 (119) with the help of five fours and three sixes.
Barring Dravid’s half-century, no other player contributed significantly. Karthik came in to bat at No. 7 in the 41st over. He could only manage 1 (12). India were dismissed on 204 in 49.3 overs.
In the 44th over of the English innings, Karthik affected his first dismissal in international cricket, a brilliant stumping to dismiss Michael Vaughan off Harbhajan Singh’s bowling. In the 47th over, he took his first catch off Yuvraj Singh’s bowling. India restricted England to 181-10 in 48.2 overs and won the match by 23 runs. Sourav Ganguly was adjourned the Player of the Match. Watch the video of Karthik’s maiden stump in international cricket:
As far as potential is concerned, there was not even an inch of doubt with Karthik. Perhaps, this was the reason why, over the years, he has been a consistent run-scorer in the Indian domestic circuit. Karthik has been recalled into the national side on numerous occasions, but, somehow fails to stand on the expectations. Having scored an unbeaten half-century in the last match that he played for India, he would be looking for more chances in the national side.