CHENNAI: Dinesh Karthik may not be part of the national team set-up currently, but the 34-year-old is hopeful of turning things around with the T20 World Cup in Australia not too far away.
“We have a T20 World Cup coming up and I am definitely keen on contributing for the team in the finisher’s role. I feel confident playing that role and can also contribute when it comes to setting a good total batting in the middle-order,” Karthik told TOI on Wednesday.
Karthik isn’t losing sleep over not finding a place in the Indian team and is letting his bat do the talking. He showed good form with the willow at the recently-concluded Vijay Hazare Trophy where he scored 418 runs at an average of 59.71. “As a senior member of the state side, it is my responsibility to be able to contribute each time I step on the field,” he added.
Karthik will be captaining a star-studded Tamil Nadu line-up comprising R Ashwin, M Vijay, Vijay Shankar at the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 but he is clear that the side won’t go in as the favourites. “We have some good T20 players in our TN line-up. But we haven’t performed to our potential in this format,” said Karthik.
TN had won the inaugural edition of the competition back in 2006-07 where they defeated Punjab. Since then, Tamil Nadu has failed to even make the finals of the tournament. “We haven’t competed well enough and have a long way to go in T20 cricket. We are not the strongest of teams going into the competition,” he said.
Periyaswamy – the slinger from Salem – is the only new face in the squad and he made the grade thanks to his consistent performances at the Tamil Nadu Premier League. Karthik, however, feels it will be a good test for the pacer.
“He has shown a lot of promise while bowling to batsmen from TN and people shouldn’t get too carried away. Now we will have to see how he fares against batsmen from other states,” Karthik said. Tamil Nadu will take on Kerala in their tournament opener in Thiruvananthapuram on Friday.