I didn't lose my place to a normal cricketer, it was Dhoni: Karthik
Bengaluru: It wasn't easy being Dinesh Karthik in an era where Mahendra Singh Dhoni redefined the role of a keeper-batsman.
Having last played a Test match way back in 2010, Karthik, during all these years of soul searching, was honest in his analysis as to why he didn't get a chance to wear the white flannels — "he was not good enough in presence of a special player like Dhoni".
"Look, I think I wasn't good enough, rather I was not consistent enough. That was a highly competitive environment and there was someone called MS Dhoni breathing down my neck, which caused a lot of stir in world cricket at that point of time. He went on to become one of the greatest captains India has ever produced," Karthik said ahead of his comeback Test against Afghanistan.
Karthik, who came in as a replacement to injured Wriddhiman Saha, has not played 87 Tests since he played the last of his 23 Tests against Bangladesh in 2010.
In fact, a statistician will reveal the plight of the keepers during Dhoni era'. Karthik's 87 Test match gap is an Indian record but then the earlier record was held by Parthiv Patel, who made a comeback after 83 Test matches and eight year hiatus from the longest format.
"So, I didn't lose my place to some normal cricketer; he (Dhoni) was special. I respect him for that. At that stage, I could not produce enough performance to hold on to my side. I need to be honest with myself. Now, I have another opportunity and I guess, I will try my best," the Chennai stumper said in an honest assessment. If Dhoni kept him out of Test squad till
2014, the next four years saw emergence of Wriddhiman Saha as one of India's most technically accomplished wicketkeepers.