While MS Dhoni was the regular wicketkeeper-batsman for the Indian team for many years, there was another wicketkeeper-batsman who was making the right strides with his impactful performances – Dinesh Karthik.
“I think throughout my career there’s one thing that’s for sure — it was the fact that there was a lot of pressure whenever I played games. Just the fact that I had to be a part of the side I had to be something, it had to be something special. I just couldn’t do ordinary stuff and be a part of the side because there was an enigma named MS Dhoni around,” said Karthik while speaking with Saurav Ghosal on ‘Finish Line’.
“So when you have a player like that around, you have to seize the moments with something special. At times I seized it and at times I did not hence life is not always going to be a bed of roses, at times as an individual you do have to run the tough race as well,” he added.
One such brilliant performance from Karthik came at the final of Nidahas Trophy 2018 against Bangladesh, where he hit a six off the final ball to take his team over the finish line.
When Karthik walked into bat at 133/5 with India needing 34 runs from the last two overs, the pressure was certainly on the Men in Blue. However, the wicketkeeper-batsman worked his magic and struck a six over extra cover on the final ball of the match to take India home in what turned out to be one of the most iconic moments for the team in T20I cricket.
Karthik also revealed about the emotions that were running in his head when the team needed 12 runs off the last over.
“There was nervousness when I had to think this is what I need to do. There were a lot of emotions going on inside me. But I think what did help me was the fact that I was prepared. So, I knew one thing, all I needed to do was do what I have done until now which is to get into a good position. Make sure I get a good base and then react to the ball, but there was one belief that I believed that I wasn’t going to hit a 4 (in the last ball when India needed five runs to win).
“I was going to go for a six, I was going to go for all or nothing. So, I was going for a six no matter what at that stage. I didn’t want a draw (tie). So, I think the preparation in terms of getting deep in the crease, setting myself up for a ball that could probably be a yorker again. But what helped me was I had practiced before to get into a good position and to make sure I went through with the ball. It was one of the toughest shots I played that evening over the covers,” he added.
Karthik, 35, has so far played 26 Tests, 94 ODIs, and 32 T20Is for Team India.