Dinesh Karthik’s form has been the biggest surprise in this 2022 Indian Premier League (IPL). Not many, including RCB fans, welcomed his selection for the team after the franchise had roped him in at the mega auction. However, six matches later, he is RCB’s top scorer with 197 runs at a strike rate of 209, a boundary rate of three balls and two Player of the Match awards in his bag. Soon the comparison between Karthik and AB de Villiers started making rounds with many claiming that the Indian had rightfully replaced the IPL legend. And the former South African international cricketer responded to Karthik’s form.
Speaking to VUSport Streaming ahead of RCB’s game against Lucknow Super Giants (LSG), de Villiers admitted that he was shocked to see Karthik’s batting in this IPL, adding that he has had no cricket exposure in the last few months and was commentating in England before the second leg of IPL 2021.
De Villiers further hailed him as a “360 degree” player and admitted that watching him play wants him to return to the sport again.
“The form he is at this moment and he has already won RCB 2-3 games. He looks like he is in the form of his life. I don’t know where that comes from because he hasn’t played a lot of cricket. But man, he looks in good form and he plays around the wicket 360 degrees. He almost makes me feel like I want to go back and play some cricket again, watching him play. He gets me excited, plays under pressure in the middle order and he’s got a lot of experience and if he keeps his form up there is a good chance that RCB are going a long way up,” he said.
“I was incredibly surprised and I didn’t expect it. I have always known that he is a very capable player, a nitty-gritty kind of a guy. He likes the high pressure situations and he’s a busy player at the wicket. But he hasn’t played a lot of cricket. The last time I saw him before IPL he was commentating in the UK. He wasn’t playing a lot of domestic cricket and I though he is possibly at the end of his career finishing. But he surprised us all I think with the intent and energy.”
The RCB game against LSG will be played on Tuesday at the DY Patil Sports Academy.