Being the second costliest player in an Indian Premier League auction can put tremendous pressure on a cricketer. Dinesh Karthik - bought for Rs 12.5 crores - has now also been named vice-captain of the Delhi Daredevils team for the seventh edition starting April 16. It's a responsibility however that Karthik is relishing.
His price tag - second only to Yuvraj Singh's Rs 14 crores paid by Royal Challengers Bangalore - and his role as deputy to Kevin Pietersen will demand even more from the wicketkeeper batsman. He, however, said on Tuesday that he is up for the challenge. "I am really thankful and honoured on being appointed as the vice-captain of Delhi Daredevils cricket team," said the 28-year-old. "I also thank GMR Group (franchise owners) and Delhi Daredevils for having the faith in me."
It is a faith that may not have been a result of spontaneous thinking. Karthik, after all, has scored 1741 runs in 92 IPL appearances. While when in form, this Tamil Nadu right-hander can threaten the best of oppositions, Karthik's ability as a skillful wicketkeeper also makes him a valuable asset - one that can be polished further by former England captain Pietersen and new Daredevils coach Gary Kirsten. "I am looking forward to working under legends like Kevin Pietersen and Gary Kirsten and show my full support and faith for the team," said the cricketer who has 1313 runs from 71 ODIs at an average of 27.93.
While there were experts and fans who questioned Delhi Daredevils' decision to shell out a mammoth sum for Karthik, the team has stood by their confidence in the player. "He (Karthik) has an exceptional ability to read the game and would provide valuable support to Pietersen with his knowledge of the playing conditions and Indian domestic players as his deputy," read a statement issued by the franchise on Tuesday.
The experience of having played for Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab will further add to Karthik's credibility as Daredevils' new vice-captain seeks to contribute to the team's dream of claiming its first IPL title. "I will try and take the team to a newer level and achieve great things," he vowed.