Born on the 1st of June 1985 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, Krishna Kumar Dinesh Karthik was an instinctive batsman who also savored his potential as a wicketkeeper. Having debuted for the Indian Cricket Team sometime in 2004, he also saw himself as a specialist opening batsman playing as a non-wicket keeper in 2007. He refused to remain confined and stereotyped and that is why saw future prospects in wicket-keeping. In late-2002, Karthik made his first-class debut when he rose through the junior ranks for Tamil Nadu. As a 17-year-old he developed a problematic glove work. That is why despite having a healthy score, he was dropped. Not someone who would simply give up, DK, as he is addressed, fought back and played for the India U-19 World Cup in late 2004, making his test and ODI debut.
Karthik was already wielding a cricket bat at the age of 10. During his early years, he would live in Kuwait and study in Carmel School Kuwait and FAIPS-DPS during his two-year spell. Karthik’s father was a first-division cricketer and was disappointed that he himself could not further his cricketing career. His family had already forced him to place education first. But he was adamant not to let his son suffer a similar fate. So started Karthik’s training and right from an early age. Even when his father trained him with hard leather balls being thrown at high speeds, Karthik faced them all relentlessly and scrupulously sharpened his reflexes. The boy, in his formative years, had already achieved high levels of fitness. To this, Robin Singh also acknowledged his health scores as supreme. DK was learning to keep the wicket as he played for youth teams representing Tamil Nadu.
|Full Name||:||Krishna Kumar Dinesh Karthik|
|Date of Birth||:||1/6/1985|
|Birth Place||:||Tiruchendur, Tamil Nadu, India|
|Hometown||:||Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India|
|Height||:||5 ft 7 in (170cm)|
|Siblings||:||Vinesh (Younger Brother)|
|Spouse||:||Ex. Nikita Vanjara (m. 2007- div. 2012), Dipika Pallikal (m. 2015- present)|
|School||:||Indian Public School in Salmiya, Kuwait
St. Bede’s Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School, Chennai
Don Bosco School, Chennai
|Hobbies||:||Reading, swimming, traveling, playing Sudoku|
|Bowling Style||:||Right-arm off break|
|National Side||:||India (2004-present)|
|ODI Debut||:||5 September 2004 vs England, London (cap 156)|
|Test Debut||:||3 November 2004 vs Australia, Mumbai (cap 250)|
|T20 Debut||:||1 December 2006 vs South Africa, Johannesburg (cap 4)|
|ODI Shirt No||:||21|
|T20I Shirt No||:||19|
|Teams||:||Tamil Nadu (2002- present), Delhi Capitals (2008-2010, 2014), Kings XI Punjab (2011), Mumbai Indians (2012-2013), Royal Challengers Bangalore (2015), Gujarat Lions (2016-2017), Kolkata Knights Riders (2018- present), Delhi Daredevils, South Zone, Albert TUTI Patriots, Abahani Limited|
RECORDS & ACHIEVEMENTS
When Ranji Trophy happened, Karthik was in full form and aiming remarkable scores. In the 2003 to 2004 season, he amassed two centuries, took around 20 catches and had accumulated around 438 runs with an average score of 43.80. He struggled with only 159 runs at 19.87 in four matches thereafter, after battling through the opening for much of the round-robin phase. In four innings, for the zonal Under-19 one-dayers, he could only manage 28 runs. But then for the semi-finals against the Railways, he returned back with a bang and scored his maiden century ending at 122 thus helping his team win and take the lead in the first innings. Thereafter he aided Tamil Nadu’s progress into the finals again based on the first innings, and scoring 48 runs in the second. Finally, it was a draw and the Railways were still more than 300 runs short of the actual target. In the finals, he was unbeaten at 109 against Mumbai, which when totaled to 294, was Tamil Nadu’s mainstay. Karthik, in the same match, also provided three catches. He was the forefront in domestic cricket as he played two Ranji Trophies for Tamil Nadu and scored 100 runs at an average of 25.00 in four innings.
In late 2002, Karthik made his debut in first-class cricket and played as a wicketkeeper. He was the 8th batsman and scored around 37 while batting the round-robin phase throughout the five matches. In his second match, with an average of around 35.80, he managed a top score of 88 against Uttar Pradesh. An outright defeat had been averted for Tamil Nadu and the match was drawn with just one wicket left. Karthik went on to play the U-19s for the South Zone and became productive during his second zonal season, this time averaging at 60.00 runs with a total score of around 180 runs and three half-centuries under his belt. He, thereafter, played in three youth ODIs against Nepal and was rewarded with a selection to the national U-19 team. Yet, India won all the matches easily, and without Karthik taking a single catch. Here, he would score 51 runs averaging at 17 .00. He then embarked on improving his techniques by attending off-season wicket keeping camps under the guidance of Kiran More the go-to glove-man for Indian Wicket Keeping. He returned to the U-22 team at the beginning of the season after playing in the Chennai League for a while. Thereafter, he was selected as an emerging player who would represent India to play similar counterparts from Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Here, again, Karthik would shine taking 9 catches in three of the limited overs matches. He would score 50 runs at 16.66 and then for the national ODIs U-19s against other Asian countries, he would score 35, 7 and 77 runs.
In the Test tour of England, Karthik helped India win the first series in England in 21 years as the leading scorer. He had already made his maiden Test century against Bangladesh. He is brought into several matches as a specialist batsman replacing other rested or injured players and even filling in for MS Dhoni as the wicketkeeper.
At the test matches, Karthik was a regular wicket-keeper. He would usually make appearances in ODIs as well. Though he was struggling as a batsman averaging only 20, he was one day due to replace Mahendra Singh Dhoni the prolific and destructive ODI batsman, as the wicketkeeper. Finally, Karthik returned to complete form in 2005 as an aggressive finisher with the bat down the order in the Indian team, and a regular wicketkeeper for all formats of cricket. Karthik was steadily raising his standards while playing at the domestic level, as a specialist batsman. In late 2006, he was recalled into the national squad as a batsman after other players slumped. On the tour to South Africa, he scored a half-century as the opener.
As the wicketkeeper for the Delhi Daredevils, Karthik played for the Indian Premier League in 2008 and scored an average of 24.16 and a total of 145 runs. He led Delhi to a 5-wicket win scoring the highest and remaining unbeaten at 56 runs.
Dinesh Karthik remains an esteemed cricket player for India even today, as he specializes in all forms of the game.