Dinesh Karthik has been a revelation this season. In the 14 matches he has played so far, Karthik has smashed 287 runs at an average of 57.40 with an unbeaten 66 as his highest score.
It is not the numbers that tell a story about Karthik. It’s Karthik the finisher that made headlines this season and an India call-up was the icing on the cake.
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) suffered a blow when Ab de Villiers retired. But Karthik unleashed himself in such manner that Ab the batsman was never completely missed.
RCB managed to stay alive and will now face Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) in the Eliminator of IPL 2022. And RCB’s Director of Cricket Mike Hesson was all praise for the Tamil Nadu wicketkeeper-batsman.
“DK (Dinesh Karthik) has probably been that rock. When you miss a guy like AB (de Villiers), we talked about how you are going to replace AB and now we are not doing that, but he (Karthik) has been exceptional in terms of finishing,” Hesson told RCB’s official channel.
RCB’s batting has been free flowing this season. However, their main concern was the form of Virat Kohli. But even the former RCB skipper seems to have turned the tide with an excellent half-century in their last game against Kolkata Knight Riders.
While the star players have let their bats do the talking, tghe likes of Shahbaz Ahmed, Mahipal Lomror and Rajat Patidar have put their hands up when the team needed them the most.
“I believe Rajat Patidar is an unsung hero. He came in as a replacement, he played some really important innings for us. He is a guy, whom we would like to see, how he develops in the next couple of years,” Hesson said.
“Mahipal has also been impressive. He came in a little bit late. He had an initial injury and then came back. He had to wait. By this time, he has come back and added some spark,” Hesson said about RCB’s explosive middle-order all-rounder. Maxwell has got better and better as the tournament progressed,” he added.
After Kohli quit as captain of RCB, the Bangalore-based franchise appointed Faf du Plessis as the skipper. And the South African has led from the front with Hesson saying that the former Proteas skipper has the “capability of bringing people along for the ride”.
“Faf’s been great, once we decided who was going to be captain and he was made aware of that, it was certainly not all about him putting a stamp on it, but coming in and contributing to the culture, and the word culture is often overused and often it’s based around performance. So, people go, ‘oh they’ve won, so they must have a great culture… for me, the culture happens first, it’s something that is quite hard to define, it’s more about how you react under pressure, how you react to your team-mates, and Faf is big on that,” he said.
“He (du Plessis) is big on creating a legacy as well in terms of we have actually got to set things in place for the next 3 years and hopefully beyond. He also has the capability of bringing people along for the ride, which I think is really important. Virat is obviously a key part of that, being our ex-captain, and such an influential character, but he also brought a whole lot of senior players for the ride that he can engage with. All the young guys love him because he cares, actually genuinely talks and sit to have breakfast with them, gets to know them, sits them by the pool, whatever it is to actually build that group and he does that organically, it’s not fake, it’s quite a natural way with how he deals with people,” added Hesson.