SHARJAH: One of the tougher things for players of the Indian Premier League (IPL) to do is to justify their price tags at all times.
If a certain player has been bought by a franchise for a whopping sum, there’s always this fear of underperformance riding at the back of his mind. It’s not the player’s fault for he wasn’t the one asking the franchise to pay that kind of money for him. But the pressure factor never leaves him.
One of the inheritors of such an experience this season is Dinesh Karthik. Bought by the Delhi Daredevils this year for Rs 12.5 crore, the wicketkeeper-batsman, who played for Mumbai Indians in the last two seasons, has inevitably come under focus. To Karthik or to the Daredevils, the price-tag may not hold much importance but it is how he has been talked about so far this season – 2014’s million-dollar-man.
“I don’t look at it that way. For me it’s about winning as many games as possible for my team and getting Delhi into the top four. That’s the first aim for us, and I’ll try and work towards that,” he says.
After a duck in the first match, the match-winning half-century against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Saturday came as a huge respite. On Monday, he’ll be up against the formidable Chennai Super Kings, once again leading the side in place of Kevin Pietersen. “He’s (KP) getting better. I can tell you that much for sure. We are monitoring him real closely and definitely the first chance we have we will make him play,” he said.
Karthik, who had played with the franchise earlier too before shifting base to Mumbai, is now back but within a completely new set-up. He’s thankful that coach Gary Kirsten is around to guide this newly-formed unit this year.
“At this stage, I’d say we are very balanced and I have to give a lot of credit to the coach, Gary Kirsten. He’s somebody who doesn’t get too emotional and swayed by things and results,” says Karthik, explaining the expectations surrounding each game.
“He (Gary) believes in processes, which is one of the key elements in the IPL – to keep believing in processes and keep doing all the back work and keep it doing without any stress forthe players.”