Dinesh Karthik’s big grin was a staple in India’s training session at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi ahead of the first T20I against South Africa. Karthik had set a goal of returning to the Indian squad for the IPL 2022 season, and he had achieved his goal even before his side, Royal Challengers Bangalore had finished their campaign. After an almost three-year absence, the experienced wicketkeeper-batsman returned to the Indian team. And, if India’s head coach Rahul Dravid is to be believed, Karthik might well be the series’ finisher on June 9.

Karthik was chosen for the Indian team based on his performance as a finisher for RCB, according to Dravid. “It’s quite evident, Dinesh… He has made a return based on the talents he has shown in a certain phase of the game. Dinesh has been able to demonstrate tremendous stability in that backend over the last 2-to 3 years. He can make a difference in each team he has played for, which is why he has been selected “In his pre-match news conference on Tuesday, Dravid stated.

Karthik has 330 runs in 16 matches for RCB this season, with a strike rate of 183. In the final five overs of the innings, he was at his most lethal. The bulk of his 22 sixes came in the closing overs of the competition, and Dravid is hoping that the 92 ODI and 32 T20I veterans can repeat that feat for India. “He’s been selected to bat in that position to see whether he can recreate those performances for India,” Dravid continued.