Team India head coach Rahul Dravid praised the veteran India batter Dinesh Karthik, claiming that he is an enforcer of the team after his innings at Rajkot that helped the host to level the five-match T20I series 2-2 against South Africa as well. However, Dinesh Karthik returned to the India team for the T20Is against South Africa after having a stunning show in the Indian Premier League 2022 season where he smashed 330 runs in 16 innings for Royal Challengers Bangalore as well.
Meanwhile, it was his 27-ball 55 in the fourth match that helped India post a modest total after the top-order failed to do well. With this, Karthik also became the oldest Indian batter to hit a half-century in the shortest format.
“He was picked for a specific skill – something he was doing exceptionally well in the last 2-3 years. It is nice that his selection has been vindicated,” Rahul Dravid said in the post-match press conference. “It came together brilliantly at Rajkot, where we needed that big performance in the last 5 overs to make a par score. Karthik and Hardik (Pandya) batted beautifully for us. Both Karthik and Pandya are our enforcers at the death. They can capitalise in the last 5-6 overs as well as anyone in the world.”
He continued: “It is nice to see Karthik doing well. It opens options for us going forward. I was telling the guys that they have to bang the doors open, not just knock. An innings like that (at Rajkot) certainly means that Karthik is banging hard.”
On the other hand, the series between India and South Africa has ended in a 2-2 draw as the fifth as well as decider T20I was abandoned in Bengaluru. While the South African team started with two back-to-back wins, the host bounced back very well and equalled it in the next two as well.