Karthik is the new finisher in the Indian squad Image: AFP
Not many were happy when Dinesh Karthik was made the Kolkata Knight Riders captain. Is he an efficient leader? Will he able to perform under pressure? Karthik has now answered all such burning questions. And yes, he also showed that he has the nerves to handle any given match situation.
As India chased a 167-run target in the Nidahas Trophy final against Bangladesh, things almost went out of hand. But Karthik made it look easy. When five runs were needed of the last delivery, he smashed a good length ball over the covers for a six.
Karthik's gem of a cameo got him 29 off 8 balls with two boundaries and three sixes — the last of them will forever be etched in memory.
Skipper Rohit Sharma's (56 off 42 balls) dismissal set India's inexperienced middle-order into panic mode and Vijay Shankar's four dot balls off the 18th over by Mustafizur Rahaman made it very difficult for India. Karthik came at the start of the19th over and hit Rubel Hossain for 22, including two sixes and two fours, to bring down the equation to 12 off the final over before finishing it off in style.
"Really happy to come out of this performance. We have played really well in this tournament and to not win the final would have been unfortunate. It was not that easy to bat there. So I just had to go out there and hit the ball hard. I have been practising keeping a good base and hitting through the line, and luckily it came out well," an elated Karthik said.
KKR fans can now breathe a sigh of relief because when the going gets tough, Karthik's bat gets going.
(With inputs from PTI)