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Krishna Kumar Dinesh Karthik (Tamil: தினேஷ் கார்த்திக்; born 1 June 1985) is Indian wicket-keeper-batsman who made his debut for the Indian cricket team in 2004.

Dinesh Karthik
Personal information
Full nameKrishna Kumar Dinesh Karthik
Born (1985-06-01) 1 June 1985 (age 34)
Tiruchendur, Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu, India
Height1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)
BowlingRight-arm off break
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 250)3 November 2004 v Australia
Last Test9 August 2018 v England
ODI debut (cap 156)5 September 2004 v England
Last ODI9 July 2019 v New Zealand
ODI shirt no.21
T20I debut (cap 4)1 December 2006 v South Africa
Last T20I27 February 2019 v Australia
Domestic team information
2002–presentTamil Nadu
2008–2010Delhi Daredevils
2011Kings XI Punjab
2012–2013Mumbai Indians
2014Delhi Daredevils
2015Royal Challengers Bangalore
2016–2017Gujarat Lions
2018–presentKolkata Knight Riders
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI T20I FC
Matches 26 94 32 163
Runs scored 1,025 1,752 399 9,376
Batting average 25.00 30.20 33.25 40.76
100s/50s 1/7 0/9 0/0 27/42
Top score 129 79 48 213
Balls bowled 120
Wickets 0
Bowling average
5 wickets in innings
10 wickets in match
Best bowling
Catches/stumpings 57/6 64/7 14/5 385/44
Source: ESPNcricinfo, 9 July 2019

Rising through the junior ranks, Karthik made his first-class debut in late-2002 for Tamil Nadu as a 17-year-old. He is the present captain of Kolkata Knight Riders replacing Gautam Gambhir.

He played for India at the 2004 Under-19 World Cup and made his One Day International (ODI) and Test cricket debut in late 2004. Following India's elimination from the first round of the 2007 Cricket World Cup Karthik became a non-wicket-keeping opening batsman in the Test team and regularly played ODIs, batting in the middle order.

He made his maiden Test century against Bangladesh and then was India's leading scorer in the Test tour of England,[1] helping India win their first series in England in 21 years. After suffering a drop in form in September 2007 he was dropped from the Test team, and since then has only made sporadic international appearances, although he continues to score heavily in domestic cricket.


Early and personal lifeEdit

Karthik was born in Tiruchendur in Tamil Nadu. He began playing cricket at the age of 10, after a two-year period of living in Kuwait where his father worked. He did his schooling in India and at Carmel School and Fahaheel Al-Watanieh Indian Private School while in Kuwait. He was coached cricket by his father, a first-division cricketer from Chennai. Disappointed that his own career was hindered when he was forced by his family to put his education first, Karthik's father did not want his son to suffer the same way, and trained him hard from an early age.[2] Karthik honed his reflexes at this young age by having his father throw hard leather balls at him at high speed. Initially, he played in the youth teams for Tamil Nadu as a batsman who was learning to keep wicket, and was regarded by Robin Singh as having very high levels of fitness.[2]

Karthik steadily ascended the youth ranks. He made his debut for Tamil Nadu Under-14s in early 1999 and was promoted to the under-19 side at the start of the 2000/01 season.[3] He made his first-class debut for the senior side the following season.

Karthik was married to Nikita Vanjara in 2007. They divorced in 2012 and in November 2013, he became engaged to Indian squash player Dipika Pallikal,[4] whom he married in both traditional Christian and Hindu wedding styles in August 2015.[5]

Domestic careerEdit

Karthik made his debut at the first-class level in late-2002 against Baroda, playing as a wicket-keeper.[6] He batted throughout the round-robin phase in five matches, scoring 179 runs at an average of 35.80 with a top score of 88 not out against Uttar Pradesh in his second match.[3][2][7] His form tapered off after this match and he failed to pass 20 again during the season.[3] He took 11 catches,[8] but due to repeated wicket-keeping errors, he was dropped for the final matches of the season.[9]

After being dropped, Karthik was overlooked for the selection in the zonal Duleep Trophy, and played in the Under-19s for South Zone. He had a more productive time in his second zonal season, scoring 180 runs at 60.00 with three half-centuries.[3] He was rewarded with selection in the national Under-19 team, and played in three youth One Day Internationals (ODIs) against Nepal.[3]

Karthik attended a wicket-keeping camp in the off-season under the guidance of former Indian keeper and chairman of selectors Kiran More, which he credited for improving his technique. After playing for a period in the Chennai League, he returned to the Under-22 team at the start of the season, before being selected for India Emerging Players to play their youthful counterparts from Sri Lanka and Pakistan in late-September.[3]

After these performances, Karthik was recalled to the Ranji Trophy team at the start of the 2003–04 season.[2] This time, he accumulated 438 runs with an average of 43.80, with two centuries, and took 20 catches.[10] In the semi-final against Railways he scored his maiden first-class century, making 122 runs.[11] He followed this with an unbeaten 109 in the final against Mumbai.[12]

Karthik was selected in the India squad for the 2004 Under-19 Cricket World Cup in Bangladesh and scored two half centuries on an India A tour to Zimbabwe.[3][13]

He then had a strong domestic first-class season in 2008–09. After starting the Ranji Trophy campaign with two single-figure scores, he scored 213, featuring in a 213-run partnership with Subramaniam Badrinath as Tamil Nadu defeated Uttar Pradesh by an innings. Karthik then scored 123 and 113 in consecutive matches against Baroda and Railways before ending his Ranji Trophy campaign with 72 against Uttar Pradesh in the return match. He then continued his strong run against Central Zone in the Duleep Trophy, scoring 153 and 103 in one match. Karthik ended with 1026 runs at 64.12 for the season, including five centuries and two fifties.

In 2009/10 Karthik played in six Ranji Trophy matches for Tamil Nadu as captain. He scored 152 against Orissa and 117 against Punjab, and added a further two scores of at least 70, but managed only 16 runs in his four other innings, ending the season with 443 runs at an average of 55.37.[3]

In October 2018, he was named as the captain of the India A cricket team for the 2018–19 Deodhar Trophy.[14]

Indian Premier LeagueEdit

Karthik played in the 2008 Indian Premier League as the wicket-keeper for the Delhi Daredevils, scoring 145 runs at 24.16 with a strike rate[15] of 135.51.[16] His highest score was an unbeaten 56 to steer Delhi to a five-wicket win in a group match over the Mumbai Indians.[3] In the 2009 Indian Premier League held in South Africa, Karthik played in each of Delhi's 15 matches, scoring 288 runs at 36.00, passing 40 on three occasions and making 17 dismissals. Delhi topped the pool stage of the tournament, but Karthik made only nine in the semi-final as Delhi were defeated by six wickets by the Deccan Chargers.[3]

In 2011, Karthik was bought by Kings XI Punjab for $900,000, making him the second-most expensive player in their squad. For the 2012 Indian Premier League, Karthik joined Mumbai Indians for a reported $2.35 million.[17]

In 2014, he was once again bought by Delhi, in 2015 by Royal Challengers Bangalore and in 2016 by Gujarat Lions, being retained for the 2017 season. He was named as wicket keeper of the IPL XI of the tournament in 2017 by Cricbuzz.[18] In 2018 Karthik was bought by Kolkata Knight Riders and named as the for the 2018 IPL season replacing Gautam Gambhir. He led the team to the playoffs but lost there.[19] For his performances in the 2018 IPL season, he was named in the Cricinfo and Cricbuzz IPL XI.[20][21]

International careerEdit

Karthik at fielding practice

Test careerEdit

Karthik made his Test cricket debut in the fourth Test between Australia and India in Mumbai,[when?] replacing Parthiv Patel who was dropped following a poor run of wicket-keeping form.[22] He only managed 14 runs in two innings and took two catches, but was praised for his wicket-keeping on a pitch with variable bounce and spin in which 40 wickets fell in two days.[23][24]

He played in only one match against England at Lord's,[when?] scoring one run. Despite dropping England captain Michael Vaughan from the bowling of Anil Kumble, he eventually stumped Vaughan down the legside and took another catch.[25][26] He played in the 2004 ICC Champions Trophy against Kenya, taking three catches before being replaced in the ODI team by MS Dhoni and did not play another ODI until April 2006.[27][28]

Karthik was retained for India's next engagement,[when?] a two-Test home series against South Africa. In a high-scoring draw in which both teams passed 450 in the first innings, Karthik managed only a solitary run in the first Test in Kanpur. In the second Test at Calcutta, he scored 46 to help extend India's first innings lead to 106 runs, as the hosts completed an eight-wicket win.[3]

Karthik had a chance to score heavily in India's two-Test tour of Bangladesh in December 2004. Against a team that had never won a Test, India encountered little difficulty in sweeping the series, winning both matches by an innings. They passed 500 in both matches, but Karthik was unable to join the high-scoring, managing only 25 and 11.[3]

Despite these lean performances, Karthik was retained for the three-Test series at home to Pakistan in March. In a high-scoring draw in the first Test in Mohali, Karthik made only six as India amassed 516. Karthik then put on his best Test batting performance to this point, at Eden Gardens, Kolkata against Pakistan. India batted first and Karthik made a start and reached 28, before being run out. India made 407 and Pakistan almost broke even, replying with 393. In the second innings, Karthik scored, combining with Rahul Dravid in a 166-run partnership to set up a target of 422. This proved too much for the tourists on the deteriorating pitch and India won the match by 196 runs.[29] In the next match, he made only 10 and 9 as India collapsed and lost ten wickets on the final day of an otherwise high-scoring match—1280 runs had been scored for only 22 wickets in the first three innings.[3]

In contrast, Dhoni scored 148 in an ODI against Pakistan. Despite Dhoni's heavy run-scoring in ODIs, the selectors continued to persist with Karthik for the Tests in the face of his low scoring at both domestic and international level in the preceding 12 months.[citation needed] He played against Zimbabwe[when?] but when the team for the three Tests at home to Sri Lanka was announced, Karthik was dropped in place of Dhoni. In ten Tests since his debut, Karthik had managed only 245 runs at an average of 18.84 with only one half-century and one other score beyond 25.[30]

With India's batsmen struggling, Raina and Kaif were dropped altogether from the Test squad, as Karthik was selected as a back-up wicket-keeper and middle order batsmen in the Test team for the first time in a year.[when?][31]

After Dhoni suffered from a finger injury, Karthik replaced him for the Third Test at Newlands against South Africa,[when?] playing in his first Test in over a year. With regular opener Virender Sehwag suffering from a loss of form, Karthik opened the innings with Wasim Jaffer, allowing Sehwag to bat in the middle order. He used his domestic experience to score 63 in the first innings, combining in a century opening stand, helping India to 414, enough for a first innings lead of 41. In the second innings, he scored an unbeaten 38, as the team suffered a batting collapse and were all out for 169.[30] In addition to his batting, his wicket-keeping was praised.[32]

Karthik did not play a match at the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup,[27] and following India's unexpected exit from the first round, a group of players was dropped from the squad, including Sehwag.[33][34] As a result, Karthik was selected as a specialist opener for the tour of Bangladesh,[when?] scoring 56 and 22 in the drawn first Test in Chittagong before scoring his maiden Test century in the second Test in Dhaka, making 129 runs and featuring in a century opening stand as India took an innings victory.[30]

Karthik established himself as a regular opener in the mid-2007 Test series in England. After scoring 76 and 51 in the two tour matches ahead of the Tests, he recorded a half-century in each of the three Tests, regularly helping India to make solid starts. In the first Test at Lord's, Karthik made 60 in the second innings before India fell to 9/282 in pursuit of 380 when rain ended the match early. In the second Test at Trent Bridge, Karthik scored 77 and 22 and in the third Test at The Oval scored 91. With a total of 263 runs at 43.83, he was the highest scorer in the series for India,[35] as the tourists won their first series in England for 21 years.[36] He started the ODI series with an unbeaten 44, but then had four consecutive innings where he failed to score more than four runs, and he was dropped for the final two matches.[27]

Karthik had a lean Test series against Pakistan at home in late 2008. In the first two Tests, he managed only 39 in two innings, passing single figures only once.[30] In the third Test in Bangalore, Sachin Tendulkar was injured, and his replacement Yuvraj scored 170. Karthik, batting down the order with Gautam Gambhir taking his opening position, scored 24 and 52 in a high-scoring draw and kept wickets because of Dhoni's absence with injury.[30][37] In the first innings, Karthik was behind the stumps as India set a world record for the most extras conceded in a Test innings. The 35 byes that were leaked were the second highest amount in Test history.[38]

Karthik was retained for the Test tour of Australia as an opener, while Gambhir was ruled out after suffering an injury. However, he did not play in the first two Tests,[30] because Dravid was elevated into his opening position so that both Tendulkar and Yuvraj could bat in the middle order. When Dravid and Yuvraj both struggled in their new positions,[39] Dravid was moved back to his No. 3 position and Yuvraj dropped for the third Test of the series,[40] but Karthik was not recalled.[30][41]

He was recalled to the Test team as a wicket-keeper for the July 2008 tour of Sri Lanka after Dhoni chose to take a break from cricket, citing the need to rest.[30][42] Karthik played in the first two Tests, but struggled with the bat in the middle-order, scoring 36 runs at 9.00, falling all four times to the spinners Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis. He also dropped frequent catches and he was replaced for the Third Test by Patel.[who?][3]

In 2009, he scored an unbeaten 117 against Kerala in the one-day tournament and was selected for the tour of New Zealand as the reserve wicket-keeper. After watching the entire T20 and ODI series from the sidelines, he played in the second Test after Dhoni was injured, but he was criticised for dropping multiple catches.

Karthik then played in the first Test at Chittagong[when?] after Dhoni was once again forced to withdraw due to injury. He made a duck in the first innings and 27 in the second and watched the next match from the sidelines after Dhoni recovered.

He was displaced as the reserve gloveman for the two-Test home series against South Africa[when?] by Wriddhiman Saha. He scored 183 and 150 in the Duleep Trophy final against West Zone, becoming the third player to score centuries in both innings of a Duleep Trophy final.[43] He has been recalled against Afghanistan.

Limited over careerEdit

Karthik batting in the nets

In April 2006, Karthik's career was revived when he was recalled to the ODI team by selectors to give Dhoni a rest in the final ODI against England in Indore. He was not required to bat as India cruised to a seven-wicket victory.[3]

He was then reinstated as the reserve wicketkeeper for the tour to the West Indies.[44] after a campaign for India A during April in which he scored 134 runs at 33.50, including a man-of-the-match 75 runs against UAE.[45][46][3]

Karthik was given more opportunities at international level in late-2006 during the ODI tour of South Africa, after Yuvraj Singh was sidelined with a knee injury, and Karthik was given a spot purely as a batsman following the poor form of Suresh Raina and Mohammad Kaif. Playing in three of the ODIs, Karthik himself struggled, with 42 runs at an average of 14.00, and a top score of 17 as South Africa took a 5–0 whitewash.[27]

Karthik then scored an unbeaten 31 to steer India to a six-wicket win in the Twenty20 International against South Africa with one ball to spare in 2007.[47]

Karthik then featured in the four-match ODI series against West Indies, and after not batting in the victory in the first match, he top-scored with 63 as a specialist batsman when India recovered from 35/3 to post 189 on a slow wicket at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack. India went on to win by 20 runs, giving Karthik his first man of the match award.[48] He was rewarded with continued selection for the subsequent series against Sri Lanka and the 2007 Cricket World Cup.[27][49] However, Karthik faltered in the series against Sri Lanka, managing only 31, 4 not out and 1,[3] leaving his position in jeopardy. In two warm-up matches in the West Indies before the start of the World Cup, Karthik scored 3 and 38 not out against The Netherlands and the West Indies.[3]

Prior to their tour of England, India played a series of ODIs in Ireland, against the hosts and South Africa. Karthik played in four matches, scoring 15 runs at 51.00 and keeping wicket in two of the matches.[27]

Karthik was selected for the inaugural 2007 ICC World Twenty20 in South Africa in September 2007, and played in India's earlier matches, scoring 11, 17, and a duck,[3] before being dropped from the semi-final and final in favour of Rohit Sharma.[50] India went on to win after starting the tournament as outsiders. Karthik kept his place in the Indian squad for the home ODI series against Australia but was on the outer after his decline in form in England, and played in only the final match in Mumbai, making a duck as India scraped home by two wickets.[3][27] He scored 12 of 21 in first one but compilwd a partnetship with M.S.Dhoni of 57 in which more those were scored by 25 from him.

Back into formEdit

He got a chance again in India's four-match tour of West Indies where he replaced opener Sehwag, who was out with a shoulder injury.[51] He scored 67, 4 and 47 runs as an opener which could help him claim a berth for the future, as India took the series 2–1.[52][53][54]

Karthik during the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy

With Sehwag still injured, he was retained for a short triangular ODI tournament in Sri Lanka in September. He scored 4 and 16 in India's two round robin matches and was dropped for the final, in which India triumphed over the hosts. Karthik was retained for the 2009 ICC Champions Trophy in South Africa, but after his performances in Sri Lanka, was omitted for the first two matches. He was given an opportunity in India's final pool match against the West Indies and scored 34 in a seven-wicket win, but it was not enough to prevent India's first-round exit.[3]

In December 2009, Karthik was recalled to the ODI team during the Sri Lankan tour of India after Dhoni was banned after the second match for two matches because of slow over rates. Karthik kept wickets in the next two matches, scoring 32 and 19 and remaining unbeaten in both instances, helping to guide India to the target in successful runchases.[3] He retained his place as a middle-order batsman in the fifth and final match when Dhoni returned after Tendulkar was rested and Yuvraj injured, but the match was ended prematurely due to an unsafe pitch.

Karthik retained his place for the ODI tri-series in Bangladesh against the hosts and Sri Lanka after Tendulkar was rested for the tournament. Karthik played as an opener along Gambhir in the last two of the round-robin matches after Sehwag was rested. Karthik made 48 and 34 in quick time as India won both matches but was dropped for the final, which was lost.[3]

Karthik was recalled to the Indian ODI team for the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy following a great domestic season and IPL performance. He scored back to back centuries in the two warm up games sealing his place in the team for the tournament. Unfortunately, these centuries will not be counted in his first-class statistics as the teams were playing a 15-a-side team. He scored an unbeaten 51 in India's group match against the West Indies.

On 10 December 2017, Karthik had faced 18 deliveries without scoring a single run against Sri Lanka. It is the most number of deliveries played by an Indian batsman for scoring no run in ODIs. The record was previously held by Eknath Solkar who got out on duck after playing 17 balls against England at The Oval in 1974.[55]

Karthik was flown in for the Third test of India's 2017–18 tour of South Africa to replace the injured wicket-keeper Saha.[56] However substitute Patel was included in the side before he injured his right index finger prompting Karthik to keep wickets starting day four of the Test.[57] He was subsequently included in the squad for the limited overs fixtures but did not make the playing eleven, except the final T20I when he made a six-ball 13.[58] He was again named in the squad for the Nidahas Trophy in March that year after team regular and wicket-keeper Dhoni was rested.[59] Karthik played a match-winning knock of an unbeaten 29 off 8 balls in the final of the tournament against Bangladesh. Coming in to bat when India required 34 runs off the last two overs, Karthik's assault, that included a six when requiring five runs off the last ball, won the match, and the tournament, for his team.[60][61]

In April 2019, he was named in India's squad for the 2019 Cricket World Cup.[62][63] On 6 July 2019, in the match against Sri Lanka, Karthik played in his 150th international match for India.[64]

Outside cricketEdit

Karthik took part in the dance reality show Ek Khiladi Ek Hasina partnering with Nigaar Khan.[when?][65]


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External linksEdit