Dinesh Karthik was drafted into the Indian team at a young age, a time when India were struggling to find a proper wicket-keeper batsman. Rahul Dravid had been forced into the keeper-batsman role by Ganguly, as he felt that it provided more balance to the side.
But Dravid was not a regular keeper, someone who found it tough to keep on difficult tracks.
After Dravid gave up the gloves, it was time that India had someone who was a wicketkeeper and could bat decent.
A lot of names cropped up, with DK, Dhoni and Ajay Ratra leading the line.
Dinesh Karthik was the first one to don that Indian hat out of the three available option when India toured England in 2004. However, he fell off the radar when the charismatic, long-haired MS Dhoni was picked for the Bangladesh tour.
A fruitful tour to Pakistan later and Dhoni had cemented his place in the side, dazzling Indian fans with his attacking batting style.
Dinesh Karthik played second fiddle all this while but he is into his second innings as a player now, getting to play a test for the country after 8 long years.
Prior to the historic Afghanistan Test, Dinesh Karthik spoke about the competitiveness in Indian cricket in 2004 and how he wasn’t consistent enough. Also, DK emphasised on the fact that he didn’t just lose his player to any player, but to MS Dhoni, who is probably India’s most successful Test captain.
“I wasn’t consistent enough. There was a highly competitive environment. MS Dhoni was breathing down my neck, who was causing a lot of stir in Test cricket at that point of time. He has gone on to become probably one of the greatest Test cricket captains India has ever produced. So, it’s not that I lost out my place to some normal cricketer,” Karthik said, as quoted by DNA.
“He has been a special cricketer over a period of time and I respect him for that. It was just the fact that I couldn’t at that stage produce enough performances to hold on to my place. I think I need to be honest with myself. I think I wasn’t as good then. I have another opportunity now and I guess I will try to do my best,” he added.
Can DK become a long-term wicketkeeping option for India?