32-Year-Old Wicketkeeper Kolkata Knight Riders
April 18, 2018 Dinesh Karthik News
RotoWire Fantasy Analysis
Karthik scored 42 not out off 23, including two fours and two sixes for Kolkata Knight Riders in a seven-wicket win against Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in Jaipur on Wednesday.
Chasing a tricky target of 161, Karthik played a captain's knock and took his team over the line. The wicketkeeper-batsman scored at an strike-rate of 182.60 -- the best by any player in the match. So far, Karthik has scored 151 runs at an average of 50.33 and strike-rate of 132.45, and the team management will be hoping for a similar kind of performance from him in the match against Kings XI Punjab on Saturday.
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Fantasy AnalysisNeeding nothing more than to score runs at a solid clip, Karthik took few chances and seldom found the rope, but got the job done with a solid 35 run score to give the Knight Riders an opening match victory with four wickets and seven balls to spare. Coming off a T20I series where he didn't break 39-though he was never out in the Tri-Series with Bangladesh and Sri Lanka-Karthik will certainly be happy with Sunday's restrained, yet effective display.
Fantasy AnalysisKarthik stepped into the crease in the 19th over with improbably odds ahead-needing 35 off the final 12 balls. However, he hit a boundary and two sixes in his first three balls to nearly half the total and closed things out in grand fashion. Needing five for victory, Karthik cleared the rope for his third six of the innings to give India a Nidahas Trophy victory. While he's never gone for an international T20 fifty, his unbeaten 29 on Sunday and his 25-ball unbeaten 39 on Monday have been the difference between winning and losing for India while they've utilized a less-experienced side.
Fantasy AnalysisUsed as a specialist batsman, Karthik has had a nice run in the one-day side since returning for a pair of matches against the West Indies this summer. He now has scores of at least 37 in each of his last three ODIs (of the four he's played since the Asia Cup in March 2014) and provides experienced depth to a squad that's in dire need of rotation as a packed fixtures calendar both upcoming and in the past have led to some worn-out players.
Fantasy AnalysisComing off a torturous nine-ball duck on Sunday against New Zealand, two days later, Karthik was a steady presence in the middle order, finishing on 94. While MS Dhoni is likely going to be the wicketkeeper for India throughout the tournament, Karthik's ability to step in when called upon will be key if there's a loss of fitness or form by the venerable Dhoni. Karthik's ability to provide steady power in the middle order will be crucial when called upon, starting Sunday against Pakistan at Birmingham.
Fantasy AnalysisThe wicketkeeper batsman for the Lions has begun to found form at the closing end of the season with another 30-plus score, his third in as many innings and a score of 29 before that. His score of 40 came from 28 balls and included a six and four fours. Karthik had a quiet day behind the stumps, with no catches and no stumpings.
Fantasy AnalysisKarthik has been quite a bit inconsistent this tournament, but when he's been on, he's been on. While this was his first half-century, he's either scored 30-plus — which he's done four times in seven matches — or posted three or fewer runs. In the field, the talented wicketkeeper became the first to record 100 dismissals in the IPL with the gloves. He'll look to maintain his strong form in Thursday's trip to Bangalore to take on fellow cellar-dwellers RCB.
Fantasy AnalysisWhile he put up a pretty lackluster score in Friday's match against the Supergiant, Karthik has been one of the most consistent performers for the Lions in the early going, with the 12th-most runs in the tournament and a 42.66 average, this despite not yet reaching a half-century through the first four matches. His strike rate of 184.61 was impressive considering he only reached the boundary four times, but the Lions were unable to defend 176, as they sit in seventh position on the table, ahead of RCB on net run rate. They'll host fellow cellar dwellers RCB on Tuesday.
Fantasy AnalysisCapped 23 times at the Test level but with none since 2010, Karthik has shown good form of late in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, with three half-centuries and his 10th List A century over his past five matches. With the IPL upcoming, Karthik will have plenty to keep him busy, but if he can keep up his strong form, an international call-up could be in his future.
Fantasy AnalysisBefore providing the Lions' top score of the match, Karthik scooped up outside edges from Manish Pandey and Robin Uthappa within the first four overs, pushing the keeper to eight catches and three stumpings in 11 outings of IPL9. In the second innings, Karthik entered at No. 4 following modest efforts from Dwayne Smith (27) and Brendon McCullum (29), quickly taking the reins of the chase with fours on three successive balls. As Karthik pounded boundaries with regularity, he also benefited from a pair of drops on 40 and 51. Only one delivery after the latter occurrence, though, Karthik went to far down the track after a wrong'un and suffered a stumping, which placed the pursuit in the able hands of Aaron Finch.
Fantasy AnalysisGujarat had a tall task at hand following the 180 runs put up by the Royal Challengers in the first innings, 100 of them from the bat of Virat Kohli. Upon Brendon McCullum's exit for the second wicket in the ninth, a sizable base had been constructed -- 87, or a 10.44 run rate -- but Karthik and Suresh Raina were more or less contained to twos, outside of a quartet of fours, during their partnership. With the required run rate whittled down to 9.46 as Raina was sent to the showers in the 16th, Karthik took the reins of the pursuit, keeping up the barrage of twos on the large ground while mixing in two fours. Finally, teammate DJ Bravo struck the matching-winning four with three balls to spare.
Fantasy AnalysisIn a match beset by rain delay, both Karthik and Royal Challengers captain Virat Kohli were seen complaining with the referees when the players were kept on the field in a heavy downpour near the end of the first innings. Because the discussion continued into the break, Karthik's fine was based upon what match referee Roshan Mahanama deemed conduct "contrary to the spirit of the game." A consistent member of RCB's playing XI, Karthik has nary a contribution with the bat this season, as he's averaging 11.66 at a 119.31 strike rate in nine innings. However, the wicketkeeper has compensated with 10 catches and four stumpings with the gloves.
Fantasy AnalysisKarthik has scuffled in the crease this season, failing to reach 20 runs in his first four innings. With the help of four fours Monday, the 29-year-old wicketkeeper has passed that threshold in his past two occasions with the bat, during which he's averaged 25.00 at a 131.57 strike rate. These marks are more or less in line with his career figures (24.25 average and 123.93 strike rate) in 101 IPL innings, meaning he may be back on track.