Dinesh Karthik received flak from both fans and critics alike after he denied a single to keep the strike when India needed 14 runs off five balls in the T20 International series decider against New Zealand in Hamilton on Sunday. Even though the wicketkeeper-batsman managed to hit a six on the final ball, India fell astonishingly short by four runs to lose the three-match T20I series 1-2. Dinesh Karthik reflected on the Seddon Park failure on Wednesday, saying “I genuinely believed that I could hit a six”.
“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,” Karthik was quoted as saying by the new agency.
“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.”
Both Krunal and Karthik shared an unbeaten 63-run stand off 28 balls but it was not enough to save the series. India lost the game by four runs and series 1-2.
“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.
Asked if the team management had a word with him on not taking that single, Karthik said: “They were all aware of the situation and knew we both did the best we could. On that day, we were not good enough. But the support staff, as it has been around for a long time, understood it (our game plan).
“As I said, you keep practising those situations and because the belief I had in overcoming those situations in practice, I trusted myself do the job in the middle. I was not able to deliver it that day. That is what sport is. The more you back yourself, the more consistent you become in finishing the game.”
Having made his international debut almost 15 years ago, Karthik has managed to play only 26 Tests, 91 ODIs and 30 T20s.
But over the last 24 months, his stop-start career seems to have found second wind and he has featured in as many as 20 ODIs and 21 T20Is besides making a Test comeback after more than eight years.