Dinesh Karthik was India’s batting hero on Friday as his 55 carries on 27 balls helped India post a total of 169 wins for six against South Africa in the fourth T20I in Rajkot. India were struggling at 81 for four in 12.5 overs when Karthik came out at bat. But the veteran wicket-keeper batsman with Hardik Pandya tipped the scales in India’s favor with a partnership of 65 from just 33 balls for the fifth wicket. The total proved to be more than enough as the South Africans were put together for 87. The win helped India level at 2-2 in the five-game T20I series.
Karthik’s return to the Indian team was a real fairy tale. His fortunes improved when he was picked up by Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL Mega Auction. He then set the IPL 2022 on fire with outstanding batting performance, playing the role of finisher to perfection.
He scored 330 points in IPL 2022 with an average of 55 and an outstanding strike rate of 183.33. Due to his performance, Karthik was recalled to the Team India setup.
“Listen, I was very stubborn to want to play this World Cup, it’s very important in my life, I’ve been here for so long. I know what it’s like to be abandoned. I also know how bad it is. “It’s valuable to play for Team India, I wanted to do something special. Luckily RCB gave me that platform and the role I really enjoyed playing at the back. I trained for it. Now that I’m here, I want to be that guy who can help India win those tough games. I know how hard it is to be in this team. The atmosphere is very different,” Karthik told Hardik Pandya in a video posted on BCCI.tv.
Speaking about his batting exploits in the fourth T20I, Karthik told Hardik that putting pressure back on South Africa after a poor first 10 overs was very important for the team.
“As you remember Hardik, on the flight from Vizag to Rajkot, we had a conversation about how to counter certain situations. As a mid-level hitter, you need to know who you can target, hitting with you is Very comfortable.I know what to expect, what to say.
“At first we don’t talk a lot but as the partnership progresses there is a bit more fun when we fight. It was an important round for us, being down 2-1 and they have dominated the first 10-12 overs. They put under a lot of pressure, it was a tough wicket to beat. So I thought it was very important that we put the pressure back on them by the way we hit.” , the 37-year-old said.
India will face South Africa in the deciding game of the T20I series in Bengaluru on Sunday.
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