On Thursday, Karthik bowled the first-ever over of his international career when stand-in captain KL Rahul gave him the white leather during the Asia Cup 2022 match against Afghanistan.
India had already been knocked out of the Asia Cup prior to this game. After posting a mammoth 212 for 2 in 20 over, thanks largely to a belligerent and much-awaited century by Virat Kohli (122* off 61 balls), the Indian bowlers put the Afghans on the mat at 21/6 in as early as the 7th over. Bhuvneshwar Kumar was the pick of the Indian bowlers returning astonishing figures of 5/4 in his allotted 4 overs.
It was in a way surprising to see the Afghan innings extend till the 20th over and the world number 10 ranked team, who have improved in leaps and bounds in the shortest format, not being bowled out, considering the 7th wicket fell in the form of all-rounder Rashid Khan with just 54 runs on the board. Ibrahim Zadran stood tall amidst the ruins with an unbeaten 59 ball 64. He came in at number 3 and stayed till the end, bringing up his 50 and his team’s 100 in the very last over.
That over, the 20th of the Afghanistan innings, when they needed an impossible 120 runs from 6 balls, was bowled by Dinesh Karthik. Everyone was expecting Arshdeep Singh to bowl that over, but KL Rahul threw the Ball to DK.
Watch DK bowl his first ever over of his international career here:
Dk bhaiya😂 OPLast over bowling 😂#ViratKohli𓃵#INDvsAFG #DineshKarthik https://t.co/94yfIIIjFd
— THE SRIVASTAVA’s💙 (@akhouri_akash) 1662657078000
India vs Afghanistan #AsiaCup2022 #DineshKarthik bowling https://t.co/PEo8lxmuaw
— Deepak Dagar (@deepak123dagar) 1662657207000
Afghan batsman Ibrahim Zadran collected a couple off the first ball and then whacked the 27-year-old Karthik for back-to-back sixes. Karthik conceded 18 runs in the last over of the match, his first-ever of his India career. India eventually beat Afghanistan by a huge 101 runs, to register their second highest margin of victory, by runs, in this format.
Karthik has so far played 26 Tests, 94 ODIs, and 50 T20Is for India, scoring 1025, 1752, and 592 runs respectively. He has 57 catches and 6 stumpings in Tests, 64 catches and 7 stumpings in ODIs, and 23 catches and 7 stumpings in T20Is.
He last played a Test match in 2018 and an ODI in 2019. In the T20I format he is currently living a comeback dream, in a new role of a death overs finisher. We might not get to see DK the bowler too often of course, but DK the finisher could still be in the running for a T20 World Cup berth.