I was nervous a day before World Cup selection: Dinesh Karthik

When the 15-man squad for the World Cup 2019 was announced on April 15, wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik was over-the-moon to have been selected for his second World Cup. Karthik was preferred over Rishabh Pant, the young dynamic wicketkeeper-batsman many thought would make the cut.

Dinesh Karthik did not have a lot of time to think about the World Cup selection. He is busy leading Kolkata Knight Riders in the 2019 IPL and as captain, wicketkeeper and a key batsman for the team, his hands are full.

Dinesh Karthik only let his mind wander to the selection meeting on April 15 after KKR’s match against Chennai Super Kings the day before. He admitted he was even a little nervous.

“Yes, I was nervous. I did not think about World Cup too much since the IPL started,” Karthik said, speaking to Boria Majumdar, Consulting Editor Sports, India Today Group.

“I knew the World Cup selection was happening on April 15. Deep down, I wasn’t thinking too much about it. As a captain, the IPL kept me very engaged. After the CSK match, I realised it was selection the next day and that made me a little nervous,” he said.

Dinesh Karthik was not selected for the five-match ODI series against Australia at home last month. After the big news, he said that this was a “dream come true for any cricketer” and that he would do all he could to contribute to a World Cup win for India.

MSK Prasad’s selection committee chose Dinesh Karthik because it rates him a better wicketkeeper than Rishabh Pant. Karthik had played a World Cup once before in 2007 when he was only 21. He said the 2019 World Cup will be the most important tournament for him in his career.

“It’s an honour and privilege,” said Karthik on his selection. “It feels really good that two people of such stature (captain Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri) reposed faith in me,” he added. “So many people were fighting for a certain slot. I have to justify their faith by doing the best for the team.”

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