Dinesh Karthik was sulking in the pavilion after being clean bowled by Karnataka skipper R Vinay Kumar during the Rest of India's second innings in the Irani Trophy game when he got the news of Delhi Daredevils buying him for a whopping Rs 12.5 crore at the Indian Premier League auction. "Yes, I am very happy but I never thought that I would get this kind of a price. Actually, I came to know a bit later as we didn't have access to television in the dressing room," Karthik told PTI today after being the second biggest draw in the auctions following Yuvraj Singh (Rs 14 crore). "I was actually pretty angry with myself after getting out and was sitting quietly," he said.
Asked if there would be any added pressure on him having commanded this kind of a price, the talented wicket-keeper batsman replied, "I don't think so as you don't play cricket just to earn money. I have never played my cricket that way. I have been picked by Delhi Daredevils and as a professional, it is my duty to perform to the best of my abilities". (Read: Yuvraj's prayers answered - World T20 spot and now an IPL jackpot)
But will this million dollar deal (USD 2.03 million) work at the back of his mind as people will equate his performance with the amount of money he is getting, the Tamil Nadu stumper was honest in his reply. "I have never been through such a process earlier, so I won't be able to relate how it works for a particular player in this situation," Karthik said. (Also read: Yuvi surprised recipient at the auction)
For Karthik, another aim would be to win back his place in the national side. "There is nothing more important than wearing the national team jersey. The goal is always to play for India and that will be an added boost while performing for Delhi Daredevils," Karthik said. (IPL Auctions Day 1 highlights)
Karthik had enjoyed his stint with Mumbai Indians and is now happy to make a move. "I have had a fair amount of success for Mumbai Indians but now we have to move on since I wasn't retained or picked by them. I have played for Delhi Daredevils earlier also and it is a great feeling to return to Daredevils," said Karthik, who was in the Delhi team during the first three seasons. (Full IPL coverage)
The 28-year-old player, who has played 23 Tests and 67 ODIs for India, is absolutely delighted to play alongside Kevin Pietersen. "KP is a legend and I am sure it will be great experience of playing and sharing the dressing room with a true match-winner like him."
However, Karthik sidestepped the issue when asked whether he will keep wickets with talented South African Quinton de Kock also in the squad. "I don't think we have come to the stage of discussing such things. First I need to know what's requirement of the team management and I will do accordingly," Karthik said. (The auction rules | Full list of players - sold and unsold)
Hemant Dua, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Delhi Daredevils said that they were absolutely justified in bidding so high for Karthik. "You need to understand that all the teams have done their homework. There were only three well-known India internationals in that list. Yuvi (Yuvraj), DK (Karthik) and Vijay (Murali) would have commanded a fair bit of price.
"That's exactly what happened. We are very happy to get Karthik for 12.5 crore. Also we are very happy to have retained KP. The core of the team is now set and we still have couple of joker cards left. We would obviously use it judiciously tomorrow," Dua said.