Dinesh Karthik grabbed eyeballs when Delhi Daredevils bought him for an astounding Rs 12.5 crore at the last IPL auctions and the Tamil Nadu stumper knows only too well that the franchise has pinned a lot of hopes on his ability to win matches. (Read: Karthik vows to fire for Delhi Daredevils)
"Of course, there will be pressure. When a corporate invests in you, they have high expectations. But money is not the only issue here. As a professional, you are expected to give your best for the team irrespective of you getting more money or less," Karthik told PTI in an interview. (Read: Pietersen to lead Delhi Daredevils in 2014 IPL season)
Karthik failed to make most of the opportunity in the Asia Cup which preceded the World Twenty 20. Called in as replacement for India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the wicketkeeper-batsman missed some crucial stumpings and could not come up with a noticeable performance with the bat. (Read: How India 'dropped' the Asia Cup)
But on his own admission, there are no specific areas that he has worked on.
"To be honest, I have not worked on anything specific. It would also be tough to gauge my form with the way I played in the domestic T20s (Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy) as IPL will be a different ball game," said the 28-year-old.
The all new Daredevils squad starts training on Thursday and like other sides, doesn't have much time to work on the team chemistry.
Karthik said it was too early to talk about how the team would fare in the seventh edition. Captain Kevin Pietersen, Ross Taylor, Quinton de Kock, Murali Vijay and Mohammed Shami are the other star players in the squad.
"It would be too premature to say anything on the team. I will only get to meet the coach (Gary Kirsten) and others in the camp. We have a good-all round team with some explosive international players but there are a whole lot of factors that determine success."
"Personally, I would like to take it match by match and see how it goes," said the Chennai-based cricketer adding Pietersen and Taylor's presence was a big boost to the franchise.
The pitches are expected to aid the spinners more than the faster bowlers. Delhi only have leggie Rahul Sharma and left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem as frontline spinners.
"We might not have a lot of India players in the team but in the spin department, both Rahul and Nadeem have proved themselves in the past IPL editions."
A good showing in the last IPL paved the way for Karthik's return to the Indian team for the Champions Trophy.
Is he planning something similar this time around?
"IPL for me is just about expressing myself. If I do well, the future will take care of itself," he summed up.