In the third and final T20I between New Zealand and India, things were getting nervy out there in the middle as India required 15 runs in the final over to win the game and the series, as Dinesh Karthik and Krunal Pandya were unleashing their wrath on the Kiwi bowlers.
Being a member of that familiar terriotary, Karthik backed himself to take on Tim Southee. But what surprised everyone was that the wicket keeper batsman refused to take a single on the third deliverey of the final over, while refusing to give Pandya the strike.
Karthik’s confidence however, fell in vain as India ended up losing the match by 4 runs, and quite a few fans and experts slammed him for making an error in judegement by not giving Krunal Pandya the strike who was looking just as reliable with the bat.
Looking back to the game, Karthik finally opened up about his decision to stay on strike. “I think Krunal and I batted really well from that situation (145/6). We were able to bring the match down to a place where the bowlers were under pressure. We backed ourselves to do the job. And at that stage (after refusing the single), I genuinely believed that I could hit a six,” he was quoted saying.
Karthik had earlier snatched victory for his nation from the jaws of defeat in the final of Nidihas Trophy final, which saw him smash a six on the final delivery of the game, when 5 runs were needed to win it.
“As a middle-order batsman, a lot of times you have to trust your ability to play those big shots under pressure. It is also important to trust your partner at that time. I did not come off on that occasion but those things happen in the game of cricket,”
“Some days you are able to hit a boundary, some days the bowler does a good job. And there, you have to give credit to Tim Southee for the way he executed those yorkers under pressure. One mistake there and I am sure we would have taken him down,” said Karthik.
“I genuinely believed that I could hit a six,” he further added.
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Comes from the United Arab Emirates, is a sports junkie and a journalist, who has been following cricket as well as football since childhood. Played cricket in academies, school, and university levels. A fanatic follower of one of Europe's biggest ever football clubs - Manchester United.