Karthik - India's shinning star

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/k/karthik1_ap.jpg' class='caption'> Dinesh Karthik's performance in the three Tests against England has made him Team India's next Mr Dependable.

Updated: August 15, 2007 10:15 IST
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New Delhi:

Till a few weeks ago, not many would've considered Dinesh Karthik a shoo-in for a place in the Indian Test XI, but its taken him the three Test against England to change that opinion.

The Tamil Nadu batsman has got a half century in each of the tests and is the first Indian batsman to aggregate 200 runs in the series.

With Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the playing XI, Dinesh Karthik was included in the squad purely on his batting capability. The 22-year-old justified the faith of his skipper and the selectors with yet another solid knock against England at the Oval on Thursday.

Karthik missed what would have been his second Test century by just nine runs. The snickometer showed the ball had missed the bat, but the youngster showed that he's got a mature head over his shoulders with a frank admission at the end of first day's play.

"I think I batted well. The way I started was good. I was disappointed with the way I got out. Yeah, I got a small nick, no doubt about that. Very disappointed with it," said Dinesh Karthik.

So, is Karthik the answer to India's opening troubles?

Well, the statistics certainly show that the Karthik-Wasim Jaffer combination is working wonders for Team India. In the six Tests that they've opened for India, the duo averages over 80 with three century and one 50-run partnership. That also includes a succesful outing in Bangladesh a few months ago.

And, even though it was Jaffer who was more aggressive of the two on Thursday, Karthik said he realised the importance of complimenting each other's style of batting.

"Today, I started off very slowly. I was on five when Jaffer was on 24. He was smashing the bowlers all over. Once you get set on these wickets where bounce is true, I was confident of playing my shots," said Karthik.

With 255 runs already from the three Tests at an average of 51, Karthik certainly has been the find of the series for India. He's now looking for a perfect end to his memorable english summer - that is a record-breaking series victory for India in England, the first since 1986.

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