Dinesh Karthik etched his name in Indian cricketing folklore when he guided India to an incredible win in the Nidahas Trophy final against Bangladesh in 2018. Requiring 167 to win, India had slipped to 133/5 at the end of the 18th over before a Karthik special (29* off 8 balls) saw them through. Off the last ball, India needed to hit a boundary to tie the match and a six to win, and Karthik slapped the ball over the sweeper cover boundary to trigger euphoria.
However, as it turns out, Karthik, who walked out at No. 7 was supposed to bat much higher, but it was on captain Rohit Sharma’s insistence that the wicketkeeper batsman had to bat lower. Karthik revealed the constant change in plans left him angry but he was glad everything worked out well.
“I was first ready to bat at number 5 and then Rohit Sharma said that I’ll be going in at number 6. So, I was fine with that. I was pretty sure I would go in at number six and I could see that the difference between the runs needed and the remaining deliveries was increasing,” Karthik said on the eighth episode of “The Finish Line” which was aired on Baseline Ventures’ YouTube.
“When the fourth wicket fell, I was ready to walk in, but then Rohit said Vijay Shankar should go into bat. So, at that point, I was disappointed and I felt anger, but you obviously don’t question the captain. I am sure Rohit had something in mind, so I just let it be. However, finally walked in at number 7.”
The equation boiled down to 34 needed off the final two overs. Karthik took 22 off the penultimate over bowled by Rubel Hossain, hitting him for two fours and two sixes. India needed to get 12 off the last over, which later narrowed down to nine needed off three balls. Vijay Shankar hit a boundary but fell the ball after, leaving India five to get off the final ball. Karthik revealed he had played out such scenarios plenty of times in his head but 34 off two was something even he wasn’t prepared for.
“A lot of times in life when you’re pushed to the brink, you come up with something special. It was one of those occasions where I had nothing to lose. I had an opportunity where I had the freedom to completely express myself,” Karthik added.
“I had always practiced situations – 12 runs from 1 over, 20 runs from 2 overs, etc. But I don’t think I had practiced 34 runs from 2 overs. When I went in, I knew the shots I could play and I executed them on that day.”