Dinesh Karthik on Sunday went into Indian cricketing folklore with a spellbinding eight-ball cameo against Bangladesh in the Nidahas Trophy final. The 32-year-old’s philosophy, though, was very simple – to get a boundary of every ball he faced, Indian Express reported.
“I was just thinking to hit every ball for a boundary, as simple as that. There was nothing else you could do other than try to get a boundary off each ball,” Karthik said.
India were staring down the barrel after Mustafizur Rahman had bowled a brilliant over. Karthik took on Rubel Hossain and hit the winning runs of the last ball with his team needing five.
The newly appointed Kolkata Knight Riders captain, however, wasn’t sure if his lofted shot over extra-cover had enough elevation to land over the boundary rope: “I knew I had connected very well and it really went very flat. The ground in Sri Lanka is big. As soon as I hit it, I got the feeling that it’s going because the ball had hit the centre of the bat, and the bat didn’t turn (in my hand) also. But since it went too flat, somewhere there was a little bit of doubt. It went a little over the rope.”
Skipper Rohit Sharma had stated that sending Karthik, who looked in solid touch throughout the tournament, at No 7 was a planned move.
But the Tamil Nadu batsman said he was taken by surprise. “The whole tournament I had batted at No 6 and then to see Shankar go up, I was a little bit shocked. I was more shocked than angry – bit disappointed, yes. It was more like, ‘are you sure about the move as Vijay hasn’t batted the whole tournament?’ I knew there must be a reason behind it.”
After hitting the winning runs, there were fans on social media pointing out that Karthik’s demeanour after his astonishing knock was not too dissimilar to MS Dhoni’s stone-faced celebrations. “I’m very shy and not the one who will express with anger or be very loud. Even when we pick wickets, I am not the one who gets very excited. Lot of people have already asked me, ‘why didn’t you jump, why didn’t you throw everything, why didn’t you do nagin dance?’”
‘Owe my success to Abhishek Nayar’
Karthik was grateful to Mumbai veteran Abhishek Nayar’s methods on the training ground and off the field for his success.
Apart from setting up a gruelling boot camp, Nayar helped Karthik fine-tune his technique after a below-par domestic season in 2015-’16. “I have worked on how to use crease positions – Abhishek Nayar has been the sole man behind that development,” Karthik said.
“I think whatever little success I have had now, I owe it to Nayar. He didn’t have to do what he did for me. For him to spend time with me – why should he spend time with me? I haven’t given one rupee to him. What have I done for him? Nothing. He has helped me, been just giving me – knowledge, time, training tips, and he has done a lot for me. He has always been there for me. He has an unbelievable heart – the amount of stuff he does for underprivileged kids , I don’t know how many cricketers do what he does.”