Dinesh Karthik, who would be keeping the stumps for India in the upcoming five-Test series against England, says he is feeling “nervous and a little excited”. Also Read - Want This IPL to Happen is to be Able to Work With Brendon McCullum and Eoin Morgan: Dinesh Karthik
Karthik, who has been selected in the Test squad in place of regular wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha, will be donning the gloves in a Test series in England exactly 10 years after his impressive knocks against the same opposition. Also Read - Hardik Pandya Gives Cheeky Reply to Dinesh Karthik on Koffee With Karan Controversy, Says 'Coffee Proved Too Costly for Me, I Drink Green Tea'
Saha broke his thumb during the IPL and later on, went to hurt his right shoulder during the NCA camp, because of which he is out of the Test squad. The West Bengal batsman, who is set to undergo shoulder surgery in Manchester, is also likely to miss India’s tour of Australia in November. And thus, Karthik, who made his Test comeback against Afghanistan in June, will not only have a great opportunity to cement his place, will also have a big responsibility of filling up for Saha in Test cricket in the coming months for India. Also Read - MS Dhoni Excluded From Dinesh Karthik’s IPL Playing XI, Rohit Sharma Picked to Captain His Team
“I am feeling nervous and a little excited. Playing Test cricket after a long time, and I am looking forward to it. Playing in England is a great challenge, and like any other player, I am as excited as I can be,” Karthik told BCCI.TV.
“We are looking forward to it as a team and we are excited to see the captain and coach leading us from the front with a lot of positive energy and positive vibes, so at this point of time the mood in the camp is upbeat,” he added.
In 2007 series in England, Karthik had played a pivotal role scoring 60 at Lord’s, 77 at Trent Bridge and 91 at the Oval in India’s 1-0 victory. And interestingly, the 33-year-old is the only surviving player from that tour of 2007, when India last won a Test series in England under Rahul Dravid.
“I don’t remember so far back, my memory is so bad. I do remember it as the highlight of my career (so far). It was a terrific Test series – one of the few series where both sides played the same XI through the three Tests,” the right-handed batsman said.
“It just goes to show how competitive it was. Both teams didn’t feel the need to make any changes, which shows the kind of quality of cricket in the contest,” Karthik added.
Karthik would be going into the first Test with a lot of confidence having made 82 in the lone innings he played against Essex in the three-day practice game at Chelmsford.
The five-match series begins on August 1 in Birmingham.
(With PTI inputs)