He might not be in the frame for Test cricket at the moment, but 33-year-old Dinesh Karthik doesn't want to follow Ambati Rayudu in giving up first-class cricket just yet.
Karthik, who was recently a part of the Twenty20 International series against Australia, is currently playing in the Ranji Trophy, India's premier domestic first-class championship, while India are engaged in the first Test against Tim Paine and Co. in Adelaide.
He has played 26 Tests, but the last three – in 2018, after a gap of eight-and-a-half years – didn't go too well, as he scored 4 against Afghanistan at home and 0, 20, 1 and 0 in England.
With Rishabh Pant travelling to Australia and the injured Wriddhiman Saha on the mend, it's looking tricky for Karthik, but he wants to keep at it for Tamil Nadu in the domestic circuit, saying, "I really enjoy playing for Tamil Nadu. I think one of the joys of the sport is playing for the state. The minute I think that people see me as a burden playing for Tamil Nadu I will take a step back."
The wicket-keeper batsman made his international debut in 2004, and has played 86 one-day internationals and 27 T20Is apart from the Tests for his country.
He regained the trust of the selectors when his match-winning knock at the Nidahas T20 Trophy final in Sri Lanka helped India lift the title. But poor returns with the bat have put him out again.
.@DineshKarthik knows he can't afford a bad tournament. And that's why he put himself through @abhisheknayar1's House of Pain.— ICC (@ICC) March 19, 2018
The story behind Karthik's incredible #NidahasTrophy ⬇️ https://t.co/zL8AOa5s4tpic.twitter.com/sUu7oyosF6
He, however, remains in the mix of contenders for the ICC Men's World Cup 2019, but is "not thinking so far ahead".
"It has been a phenomenal year. Very happy to be in the place that I am," he said. "There’s a lot to look forward to in the coming year. Actually, it is interesting times. I am not thinking so far ahead. Because as soon as I start thinking about the World Cup and all that there will be more pressure than what is already there.
"There is obviously the Australia series, New Zealand series. There is a lot of cricket coming up, I need to focus on that … the best I can do and take it from there."
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