Wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik came, saw and left in a hurry -- all in the span of 24 hours -- knowing his 23rd Test appearance would take some more time before materialising.
Karthik was plucked out of the Tamil Nadu Ranji team which would take on Himachal Pradesh in Dharamsala tomorrow and flown in as cover for captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who had sustained a minor finger injury during the first Test against Sri Lanka in Ahmedabad.
That his injury would not jeopardise his participation in the second Test was evident in the nets yesterday when Dhoni batted with gay abandon, hitting every bowler in sight all over the Green Park.
And once done with batting, Dhoni also sent down some medium pace stuff in the nets, signalling there was nothing to worry about.
Karthik attended today's practice, kicking the football around as the entire squad played soccer in the morning. Mental conditioning coach Paddy Upton did engage him in a bit of edge-collecting practice but there was hardly any intensity about the whole affair and Karthik had no illusion that he was heading back to where he had come from.
"I'm going back to play the Ranji match, cannot say about others," Karthik said.
If it is of any consolation, his Tamil Nadu teammate S Badrinath is also returning to join the Ranji team in Dharamsala.
"Badrinath has also been released to play Ranji matches because the board wants to ensure that those not on national duty should not miss Ranji trophy," a team official told PTI.
Dhoni later told the reporters that his injury was not serious and hence Karthik was released.
"Dinesh was called in because I was having some problems. But now he, along with a few others, would go back to play Ranji," Dhoni said.
Since making his Test debut against Australia in 2004 in Mumbai, Karthik has played 22 matches so far, the last being in Napier, New Zealand in March this year.
Earlier this month, Karthik, along with Virat Kohli, was rushed to Mohali after Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir picked up injuries on the eve of India's one day match against Australia. There too, Karthik was left to warm the bench even though Kohli got a match.
Karthik Came, Saw And Left in a Hurry
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