IND vs SA, 4th T20I: Dinesh Karthik Slams His Maiden T20I Half-Century; Breaks MS Dhoni’s Record
Veteran India wicketkeeper batter Dinesh Karthik once again displayed his 360-degree batting ability to slam the South African bowlers all around the park at Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Rajkot on Friday. The 37-year-old slammed his maiden T20I fifty to help India post a fighting 169/7 in 20 overs against a quality Proteas attack.
Karthik, who played his first T20I match way back in 2006, completed his maiden fifty with a magnificent six over cow corner. The veteran wicketkeeper made his comeback to the Indian team after almost three years courtesy of a sensational Indian Premier League season with Royal Challengers Bangalore. He scored 330 runs at a strike rate of 183.33 in IPL 2022.
On Friday, Karthik came out to bat at a tricky stage when India were 4 down for 81 in 12.5 overs. Karthik joined hands with Hardik Pandya and helped India recover from there to give their bowlers a fighting chance.
The 37-year-old completed his fifty on the first ball of the final over, however, Dwaine Pretorius got his revenge on the next ball itself by dismissing on 55. His 27-ball stay was laced with 9 fours and 2 sixes.
Meanwhile, Karthik also broke a massive MS Dhoni record to become the oldest Indian player to slam a T20I half-century.
- 37 years and 16 days: Dinesh Karthik vs South Africa in 2022
- 36 years and 229 days: MS Dhoni vs South Africa in 2018
After the first innings, Karthik was elated to help his team recover from a difficult situation as he talked about taking risks in certain overs.
“With how India were placed at 10 overs, it was important in the scheme of things, so I was very happy with what we did today. I believed that we could get 80-85 in the last 7 overs. I was thinking how to do it. You got to capitalize on certain overs, take some risks. Risks are something you need to accept and absorb in T20 cricket, so I was trying to weigh my options and figure out what to do,” Karthik told broadcasters.
“Whenever the question is asked (how does he feel coming back after 16 years) I feel old for a start, but apart from that it feels good to play the first-ever T20 for India. Complete different generations. I read somewhere that out of both those teams 21 have retired out of the 22 have retired. So it feels good that I am alive and kicking and playing some cricket here,” he added.
The Indians were struggling at 81 for four before a 65-run stand between Hardik (46 off 31) and Karthik (55 off 27) brought the home team back into the game.
Karthik also admitted that the wicket was on the slower side and it was tough to hit boundaries.
“Slightly on the slower side. Ball is not coming on. If you bowl in the right areas and the right speed it was tough to hit,” he concluded.