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IPL: Dinesh Karthik leaves behind great legacy

Dinesh Karthik announces his retirement from Indian Premier League (IPL). Let's a have a look at Dinesh Karthik's IPL career and lessons for the youngsters.

IPL 2024: Dinesh Karthik announces his retirement from the IPL | Walking Wicket (Images_ ©BCCI_IPLT20)
IPL 2024: Dinesh Karthik announces his retirement from the IPL (Images: ©BCCI/IPLT20)

Dinesh Karthik has called time on his IPL career. He has been associated with the IPL since the first season in 2008 and has played for as many as six franchises across 17 seasons. He was also a part of the winning campaign for Mumbai Indians (MI) in 2013. However, he could only play 180 international matches in 18 years for India as his career was intertwined with the legendary keeper-batter and former skipper MS Dhoni. Nevertheless, Karthik made a name for himself in the IPL, and it is fair to say that he has been a legend in this T20 event. Here’s a look at the values DK, as Karthik is popular known, has left behind in his 17-year IPL career.


Longevity

In terms of longevity, Karthik is just second to Dhoni in terms of most capped players in IPL. Karthik retired from the IPL with 257 appearances, same as Rohit Sharma, only behind MS Dhoni (264). It is noteworthy that DK missed just two games throughout his IPL career, second only to the zero games missed by Rashid Khan. It shows how Karthik’s longevity in the league was always accompanied by tremendous fitness and the urge to keep improving and reinventing his game to stay relevant. He has always been an asset to each of the six franchises he represented in the league. 


Reinventing, innovating, and staying relevant

Karthik’s career is an example of how it is important to mould oneself to suit the game and stay relevant in the fast-paced world of T20 cricket. His best season in the IPL came in the 2013 winning campaign for Mumbai when he batted among the top four and scored 510 runs at an average of 28.33, with two fifties. His next best season was with Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in 2018 when he was given the added responsibility of leading the team. He scored 498 runs at an average of 49.80 in 16 games in the lower-middle order. But the next three seasons saw diminishing returns from the bat and saw him lose his control over the game. 


However, in 2022, Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) punted on the veteran and bought him for 5.5 crore INR although he was considered a failed investment by analysts. But DK reinvented himself, as he became the specialist finisher for Bengaluru, finishing off chases or giving the total a final flourish. He brought out innovative shots like scoop, reverse scoop, sweep and reverse sweep to both pacers and spinners. 


He became India's new 360-degree cricketer, scoring 330 runs at an average of 55 and strike rate of 183.33, with one fifty in 16 games. His IPL form and finishing skills earned him a place in the 2022 World T20 squad. After a flop season in 2023, Karthik was back with his finishing skills in 2024, striking at 187.36 with 2 fifties in 15 games, while aggregating 326 runs at the average of 36.22.  His career graph shows it is never too late to unlearn and learn new skills to keep oneself abreast of the changing times to stay relevant.



IPL 2024, RCB vs SRH_ Dinesh Karthik scored 83 off 35 against SRH _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©BCCI_IPLT20)
DK smashed 326 runs at a strike rate of 187 in IPL 2024 (Images: ©BCCI/IPLT20)
Sincere, hardworking DK played bold and intelligent cricket in IPL

Over the years, Dinesh Karthik has signified that he has been an extremely sincere and hard-working cricketer. When Karthik had a breakthrough season in 2022 for Bengaluru striking at over 180, he admitted about going through the grinds and preparing himself as a finisher after the franchise assigned him the role. He said he prepared for the tournament with a match-type scenario of him needing to innovate and create shots to finish off chases or score quick runs in the death overs. This preparation helped him become one of the highlights of the season. It shows Karthik’s sincerity and cricketing intelligence to play smart cricket in IPL 2022 – a quality that youngsters can learn. 



DK’s career: A lesson for young players looking to make an IPL career

DK’s career graph in the IPL was topsy-turvy as he was brilliant in one season, and mediocre in the next. But he never gave up and kept on trying to do well for himself and his franchise. And, every time he came out with flying colours. He made his presence felt in the top three franchises he played for, and made vital contributions. His career graph proves that no matter how many times you fall down, you lift yourself again, work hard, reinvent, unlearn and relearn to invite success at your doorstep.


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