Wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik on Saturday revealed that former India player Abhishek Nayar had helped him overcome self-doubts when he struggled to cement a place in the Indian team.
Karthik did a Javed Miandad as he hit pacer Soumya Sarkar for a flat six over covers on March 18 guiding his team to a win over Bangladesh in the summit clash of the Tri-nation Nidahas Trophy T20 tournament in Sri Lanka.
“I want to play as long as (possible). It was hard a lot of times. I had a lot of doubt whether I will ever play for the country again,” Karthik told reporters at a media conference here.
“That is where I have been lucky to meet Abhishek (Nayar). He is kind of guiding me through the process. I was not sure where do I need to go and he (Nayar) kind of showed me light at the end of tunnel. Things have been, touch wood, good and I have been lucky,” he said.
Karthik is part of 'No Honking 11' which is playing against 'Road Safety 11' in an exhibition match at the Wankhede Stadium.
The batsman admitted that it was hard to produce sixes on last balls.
“From how many years I play from here, I wish what I did is just the start of something good. It is very hard to keep producing last-ball sixes but definitely to be consistently winning matches for the team, whenever the situation comes, that will be good for me to try and achieve,” Karthik said.
Talking about his unbeaten knock of 8-ball 29, Karthik said, “For me, it’s not just those eight balls, more than that it’s been whatever things I have done in the last 14 years, looking to play international cricket for last 20-22 years that I'm playing the sport.
"All those things culminated, helped me get those runs. It is just not about that one day. There has been a lot of things that have gone on before that and all those things helped me get to the place where I could play that knock,” he said.
The Tamil Nadu skipper also praised batting great VVS Laxman for infusing the winning mentality in him.
“One of the conversations that have opened me up as a cricketer was a conversation with VVS (Laxman) that I had at the end of IPL last year. At this stage of my career, he said the most important thing is not those good looking 30s 40s or brilliant 100s also. The most important thing is to be able to win matches that you play for any team, and that kind of stuck to me.
“That was like a brainwave. That is amazing thinking. Like that is something he followed towards the end of his career, and he told me out of experience and that is something, I have always tried to follow after that. I think those are very valuable words said to me, I will be forever indebted to him for those valuable words he brought in my mind,” 32-year-old Karthik added.
Karthik has been married to ace squash player Dipika Pallikal and he revealed that his wife did not see his blistering innings in Sri Lanka.
“She did not even see my knock. She gets very tense. But her sisters saw the match and informed her of what happened. Definitely, cricket is not her favourite sport; it is squash, which she watches. She does come for the IPL games but she does not enjoy them as much. We do not have too many conversations about cricket.
“It’s a very important stage of her career as well. She’s going to the Commonwealth Games. She won gold in doubles last time, so it’s a very important time for her as well given that she’s worked extremely hard for the Games in the last one year,” Karthik said.