Dinesh Karthik: The Re-inventor, season finale

Dinesh Karthik was the star of India’s first T20 game in 2006 against South Africa. As the two teams meet again, the format and the man have drastically changed.

“When I went in I just wanted to play out all the overs, as that’s what my captain wanted me to do,” said Dinesh Karthik after the match.

He had just helped India win their first ever T20I, against South Africa. The hosts, who would stage the first T20 World Cup in nine months

had already played three T20Is. Mind you, a big number back then. Only Australia had played four. 

 England, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, West Indies, Bangladesh, even Zimbabwe had made their debut in the format. But not India. They were about to.

Now, 16 years later, the two teams would meet again in a T20 series; the format has changed, and so has Karthik.

To understand the transformation, it’s pertinent to rewind to December 2006 when Karthik walked into a mini-crisis in India’s first T20 International.