Vol. 5 Num 1061 Sun. May 27, 2007  

grameenphone TEST SERIES
Self-belief inspires Karthik

Dinesh Kar-thik's knock stood out amongst the ton of runs plundered by the Indian batsmen at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, as it was the player's maiden Test hundred.

For master batsman Sachin Tendulkar (37th) and India skipper Rahul Dravid (24th) it was just another century in their prolific run spree in Test cricket but the 129-run innings of the Tamil Nadu batter meant much more than that.

Among all of the stalwarts the 21-year old batsman showed his character in tough conditions during his five and half an hour stay at the middle to give the impression that he could be a good solution for the struggling opening slot.

"I'm trying my best to become a very good opener," declared the young batsman, who looks shy off the field but maintains a remarkable contrast of stroke making on it.

"I'm trying to be as consistent as possible and that can be done if I work a lot with my batting in terms of footwork and in terms of mindset. Another very important thing is the transition from ODI's to Tests. So, I am definitely working on that and I am happy with the way things are going now," he explained as the reason behind his success.

"Self-belief is definitely a big part in all this," he added.

Karthik had to leave the ground on the first day with cramps while not out on 82 runs and only returned to the field yesterday after his skipper Dravid was the first victim in the innings, to give the much-awaited breakthrough to the home team.

"It was tough because the condition was really hard and you know I was running a bit of a temperature. But I was taking it very easy and I couldn't probably feel the cramps in my hamstring if I told myself to keep playing in a sense that I was close to my 100. It was important and I'm happy at the time," said the soft-spoken wicketkeeper cum batsman.

Karthik had a lucky escape on the second day, after an early survival in the first day when wicket-keeper Khaled Mashud put him down, on 126, though he did not last long adding three more runs before miscuing a pull against Mashrafe Bin Mortaza that found Habibul Bashar at midwicket, took a cheeky single against Rafique to complete his hundred in 180 balls that contained thirteen sweetly-timed boundaries.

"Actually because the ball wasn't coming onto the bat it was not easy to play some shots which I should have played," he said.

Despite the fact that his side tightened the grip on the home team, Karthik was not ready to predict that they are going to finish the match inside three days.

"I don't like to comment on that because you know they are also a good

team and I'm sure when they will come out tomorrow they will try to

put their best foot forward. So, what we would like to do to is bowl good length like we did today. And then take advantage from that," he said.

Karthik also praised his wife contribution behind his success.

"Yeah her presence here inspired me lot in a very difficult condition. Definitely she has contributed a lot in my success," he said with a smile.