Dinesh Karthik returns to RCB in a new role, becomes batting coach and mentor

Royal Challengers Bangalore have announced veteran wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik as their batting coach and batting mentor for the men's team. Karthik, who announced his retirement after IPL 2024, will return to the RCB dugout, but this time in a different capacity.

Dinesh Karthik played a key role in RCB's journey to the playoffs in IPL 2024. (AP)

Karthik became a fan favourite at RCB in his second stint with the franchise when he returned in IPL 2022. He played the finisher's role to perfection and scored 796 runs in his last three seasons of the cash-rich league.

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RCB made the official announcement on their social media, saying, “Welcome Dinesh Karthik, our wicketkeeper in every sense, to RCB in a new avatar. DK will be the batting coach and mentor of the RCB men's team!”

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The franchise urged its fans to shower love on the veteran wicket-keeper batsman.

RCB wrote on the post, “You can take the man out of cricket but you can't take cricket out of the man! Give them lots of love, 12th Man Army!”

Karthik represented the country in 180 matches across all three formats, scoring 3463 runs with one Test century and 17 half-centuries. Karthik also took 172 catches, most of them behind the wicket. He last played for India in the 2022 T20 World Cup against Bangladesh.

Karthik made a strong case for a return to the Indian team for the 2024 T20 World Cup, enjoying another field season scoring 326 runs, but the selectors chose to go ahead with Sanju Samson and the returning Rishabh Pant. His retirement was likely after Royal Challengers Bangalore's exit from the IPL Eliminator, and Karthik chose his 39th birthday to make the decision official.

Karthik, the 2007 T20 World Cup-winning star, has a good experience of playing in the IPL, having played 257 matches and scored 4842 runs at an average of 26.32. Karthik started his IPL journey with Delhi Capitals (formerly Daredevils) before representing Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab.

Karthik is happy to be on board

Speaking on his appointment as batting coach, Karthik said, “It is incredibly exciting for me to be coaching at a professional level and it is a really passionate thing for me as it is a new chapter in my life. Hopefully my breadth of experiences as a player will contribute to the development of the group and bring added value.”

“I believe that success in cricket depends not just on technical proficiency but also on match intelligence and patience. I look forward to coaching and mentoring our batting group to help them refine not only their methodology but also develop the match awareness needed to perform better under pressure. It's also great that I can continue my association with RCB as this franchise goes from strength to strength.”

RCB has a huge fan base, however they are yet to win an IPL title since the inception of the tournament. Over the years, RCB have tried and tested several combinations of captain and coach but nothing has worked for them. They came close to winning the title thrice but lost in the finals in 2008 (against Deccan Chargers), 2011 against Chennai Super Kings and 2016 against Sunrisers Hyderabad.

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