Irfan Pathan feels there is a striking similarity between Karthik and De Villiers | Photo: IANS
- Irfan Pathan feels there is a striking similarity between India's Dinesh Karthik and ex-South Africa skipper AB de Villiers.
- Karthik received his India call-up after a sensational season with RCB in the IPL 2022.
- Karthik has also retained his place for the Ireland T20I series.
Even though Irfan Pathan feels it won't be fair to draw a comparison between veteran wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik and South Africa's AB de Villiers, the former Indian all-rounder still believes that both batters have a similar style of playing the shortest format of the game. Nicknamed ABD, former South Africa skipper De Villiers had called time on his illustrious career ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) mega auction.
The legendary batter and part-time wicketkeeper was somewhat replaced by Karthik at the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) for the 15th season of the world's richest T20 league - the IPL. Released by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) ahead of IPL 2022, Karthik turned out to be a bargain buy for RCB. Stepping in the shoes of De Villiers, Karthik aka DK became the new finisher for the Bangalore-based franchise. Karthik played an instrumental role in RCB's qualification for the IPL 2022 playoffs.
The senior batter then received a much-deserving India call-up for the South Africa series during the IPL 2022. Karthik showcased his batting exploits against the Proteas and the veteran batter also retained his place in the Indian side for the Ireland T20Is. Speaking to Star Sports after the conclusion of the South Africa series, former Indian all-rounder Pathan talked about Karthik's sensational return to the national side. While showering praise on Karthik, the former cricketer and full-time pundit gave De Villiers a special mention.
“You won't find a player with such a range. See, I'm not comparing him with AB de Villiers in terms of ability, but his range is quite similar to him. He will hit you for sweep, he will go for a switch hit. He has all the shots. When needed, he charges down the track and yes, he does prefer the leg-side. But the way he uses his feet and gets in the line of the ball is brilliant,” Pathan observed.
Karthik also surpassed MS Dhoni by becoming the oldest Indian batter to score a T20I half-century in the South Africa series. The 37-year-old smashed 92 runs in the five-match T20I series between India and South Africa. “He efficiently plays the spinners and fast bowlers. And if you ask him to hit from ball one, he can do that as well. For a finisher, it is very important and that is what Dinesh Karthik can do,” Pathan added.