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17 seasons, countless memories: Tracing Dinesh Karthik’s dazzling journey in IPL over the years

17 seasons, countless memories: Tracing Dinesh Karthik’s dazzling journey in IPL over the years

Prior to the IPL 2024, Dinesh Karthik announced that it will be his swansong season in the cash-rich league

Dinesh Karthik’s IPL career, spanning an incredible 17 seasons, came to a close on Wednesday (May 22) night. It wasn’t the fairytale ending he might have envisioned, with RCB crashing out of IPL 2024 after a loss to Rajasthan Royals (RR). However, his contribution to the tournament over the years has been immense.

One thing that has always been associated with DK is that he has always been a team player. Starting his career as a lower-order batter before playing up the order and act as an anchor, Karthik has always put his team first. Being the player with the joint-second-most caps in IPL history, Karthik amassed a total of 4,842 runs at a strike rate of 135.36. While these are his overall IPL numbers, he completely reinvented himself on becoming the league’s best finisher, having struck at a rate of 184 and 187 in IPL 2022 and 2024, respectively.

As the IPL veteran hung up his boots recently, let’s take a trip down memory lane and revisit DK’s remarkable journey in the IPL.

Dinesh Karthik’s timeline in IPL over the years

2008 (Delhi Daredevils): A fresh-faced 23-year-old, Karthik announced his arrival in the inaugural IPL season with a composed 56* against Mumbai Indians. He was picked for INR 2.1 crore for the Delhi Daredevils (now known as Delhi Capitals). While his overall batting numbers were modest, his wicket-keeping skills were already evident. It laid the foundation for his long IPL career.

2009 (Delhi Daredevils): Stepping up his game, Karthik blossomed with the bat for Delhi, scoring over 288 runs (highest for Delhi by an Indian that season) and showcasing his clean striking. Behind the stumps, his agility and anticipation impressed, with 17 dismissals to his name.

2010 (Delhi Daredevils): A similar season for Karthik, who made 278 runs, including a match-winning 38-ball 69 against RR.

2011 (Kings XI Punjab): Seeking a change of scenery, Karthik joined Kings XI Punjab (now known as Punjab Kings). While glimpses of his power-hitting emerged, consistency eluded him. It was his only season for Punjab, who bought him for INR 4.14 crore.

More on DK

2012-2013 (Mumbai Indians): A defining period in his IPL journey. Mumbai Indians recognized his him as a number three dasher, and Karthik thrived under the guidance of experienced players. His contributions with the bat proved crucial in their IPL 2013 title win. For two seasons, he commanded a consistent salary of 4.14 crores, highlighting his enduring significance to the franchise.

2014 (Delhi Daredevils): A homecoming for Karthik, but the Delhi Daredevils continued to struggle as a team. Despite a decent individual season, they failed to qualify for the playoffs. However, he gained INR 8.36 crore, a substantial gain in his salary cap.

2015 (Royal Challengers Bengaluru): A steal for RCB at INR 2 crore, the pressure seemed to get the better of Karthik. He had a forgettable season with both bat, averaging only 12.82, a stark contrast to his previous outing.

2016-2017 (Gujarat Lions): With the arrival of a new franchise, Gujarat Lions, Karthik found a new home. He emerged as a vital cog in their batting order, scoring almost 700 runs for them across the two seasons.

2018-2019 (Kolkata Knight Riders): A leadership role awaited Karthik at Kolkata Knight Riders with a hefty price tag of INR 7.4 crore. Donning the captain’s hat, he led KKR to the playoffs in 2018. His experience and ability to adapt to different situations were invaluable. He carved a niche as a late-innings specialist, often rescuing his team with explosive cameos.

2020-2021 (Kolkata Knight Riders): IPL 2020 was a tough one to take for the veteran as he stepped down from captaincy midway of IPL 2020. His batting numbers were simply dismal, scoring 169 runs at an average of 14.08. He handed the captaincy to Eoin Morgan, who led KKR to IPL 2021 final as well.

2022-2024 (Royal Challengers Bangalore): A mega auction in 2022 meant a return for Karthik at RCB. It was a much-needed acquisition for RCB, who paid INR 5.5 crore for Karthik. The 38-year-old molded himself into a spectacular finisher. He had a remarkable IPL 2022 season, on the back of which he even made his way to the Indian team at the T20 World Cup.

From 2022 to 2024, Karthik belted 796 runs at a superb strike rate of 173.8, hammering 49 sixes in the process!

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