'I'll do everything I can to be on that flight' — Dinesh Karthik upbeat about T20 World Cup selection 

Dinesh Karthik is hopeful of a place in India's squad for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024. 

Nearly two years after his final appearance in India colours, Dinesh Karthik is keeping hopes alive for a place in the India squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup in the West Indies and USA.

The 38-year-old, whose last appearance was in the 2022 edition of the T20 World Cup, has been in spectacular form in the ongoing Indian Premier League season.

In six innings, Karthik has racked up 226 runs at an average of 75.33 and a strike-rate of 205.45.

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Excelling in a finisher role for Royal Challengers Bengaluru, Karthik has pushed his case for a call-up to the T20I squad with just over a month to go for the T20 World Cup.

"At this stage in my life, it would be the greatest feeling for me to represent India (at the upcoming T20 World Cup)," Karthik said in a press conference ahead of RCB's next IPL game.

"I'm very, very keen to do so. There is nothing bigger in my life other than representing India in this T20 World Cup. I also feel there are three very, very stable, honest people who are at their helm to decide what should be the best Indian team for the World Cup. Rahul Dravid, Rohit Sharma, and Ajit Agarkar. And I'm completely with them.

"I respect any decision that they take. But all I can say is I'm 100% ready. And you know I'll do everything I can to be on that flight to the World Cup."

Several candidates are in the running for the wicketkeeper spot in India's squad for the mega event.

Since 2023, Ishan Kishan, Sanju Samson and Jitesh Sharma have kept wickets for India in T20Is. All three are in the running for a spot as are a few others including Karthik and Rishabh Pant, with the latter making a resounding return to professional cricket after his major accident in late 2022.

Karthik's strength lies in his big-hitting in the death overs, a skill that saw him make it to India's last T20 World Cup campaign as well.

The wicketkeeper-batter has two fifties in six games this IPL season, and has impressed with his ball-striking yet again.

"When I practice, I try and understand, okay, this is what they're going to bowl at me. How am I going to get a boundary visualizing a field that is going to be in place for me?

"So I worked like that, and I worked backwards, and that's helped me, you know, really learn a couple of shots more, you know, at the back end. It's been great to go out there and express myself, and it's been thoroughly enjoyable to do what I'm doing for RCB as a finisher."

The deadline for naming the squads is closing in with the tournament just over a month away and Karthik will have a few more games to make his case stronger.

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