I just want to keep performing: Karthik

Published: Tuesday, December 7, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Bangalore:Wicketkeeping is a thankless job. If you happen to belong to a country like India, it's a pressure-cooker scenario that greets a new wicketkeeper's baptism to international cricket.

It's one slot in the Indian team which has increasingly come under the microscope; for two counts- either the guys blooded in haven't quite fit the bill or the selectors haven't quite been convinced that the guys picked have accomplished the job desired of them, and no one knows it better than India's latest Test wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik.

Fresh from playing a role in India's Test series triumph over South Africa, the 20-year-old player sounded satisfied with his performance both behind the stumps as well as with the willow.

"Yeah, I'm pretty happy with my performance. My work behind the stumps has been decent enough. As for my batting, I've every reason to feel that I haven't let my team down. Actually, pretty pleased that I was able to chip in for my team's cause after initial failures in the Mumbai and Kanpur Test against Australia and South Africa respectively," he said.

The pocket-sized wicketkeeper from Tamil Nadu was bullish about cementing his place in the Test side.

"I just want to keep performing. That's the only way I can seal my berth in the side. The rest would take care of itself," he said.

Surprisingly, Karthik first made his made his One-day international debut before getting his first Test cap against the Australians in Mumbai. As things panned out, the youngster looked like firmly entrenching his Test spot before the selectors choose to spring a surprise, overlooking him for the three-match One-day series against Bangladesh.

However, Karthik hasn't let that dent his confidence in any way.

"Getting picked or dropped is part of every cricketers life. I'm no exception. Being a professional I have learnt to take things in my stride. Such things don't bother me. I'm just focused for upcoming Test series against Bangldesh," he said.

The gloveman brought out on display his batting abilities for the first time at the historic Eden Gardens when he notched a workmanlike 46 under extremely hostile conditions, to bail the hosts out of potential trouble. No wonder, Karthik is looking to build on that.

"My team needed me to hang in there as most of our frontline batters were back in the hut. The South African bowlers were also on top. I've derived a plenty of confidence from that knock as it came under trying circumstances. I want to consistently contribute with the bat so that the team's purpose of having a keeper, who can be counted upon to get the runs whenever the chips are down is fulfilled," he said.

Stunningly, Dinesh Karthik is the tenth wicketkeeper (before him Nayan Mongia, M.S.K.Prasad, Saba Karim, Sameer Dighe, Vijay Dahiya, Deep Dasgupta, Ajay Ratra and Parthiv Patel) to play for India in the last six years; which speaks volumes of the spate of keepers the selectors have tried out.

When pressed hard for his opinion, Karthik only offered a straight bat as he would normally do to protect his stumps. "I don't have anything to say on this," was his terse reply.

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