Dinesh Karthik doesn’t want to put himself under World Cup pressure

Written by Vishwas Gupta

He might not be in the frame for Test cricket at the moment, but 33-year-old Dinesh Karthik doesn’t want to follow Ambati Rayudu in giving up first-class cricket just yet.

Karthik, who was recently a part of the Twenty20 International series against Australia, is currently playing in the Ranji Trophy, India’s premier domestic first-class championship, while India are engaged in the first Test against Tim Paine and Co. in Adelaide.

He has played 26 Tests, but the last three – in 2018, after a gap of eight-and-a-half years – didn’t go too well, as he scored 4 against Afghanistan at home and 0, 20, 1 and 0 in England.

With Rishabh Pant travelling to Australia and the injured Wriddhiman Saha on the mend, it’s looking tricky for Karthik, but he wants to keep at it for Tamil Nadu in the domestic circuit, saying, “I really enjoy playing for Tamil Nadu. I think one of the joys of the sport is playing for the state. The minute I think that people see me as a burden playing for Tamil Nadu I will take a step back.”

He, however, remains in the mix of contenders for the ICC Men’s World Cup 2019, but is “not thinking so far ahead”.

“It has been a phenomenal year. Very happy to be in the place that I am,” he said. “There’s a lot to look forward to in the coming year. Actually, it is interesting times. I am not thinking so far ahead. Because as soon as I start thinking about the World Cup and all that there will be more pressure than what is already there.

“There is obviously the Australia series, New Zealand series. There is a lot of cricket coming up, I need to focus on that … the best I can do and take it from there.”

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Vishwas Gupta