Dinesh Karthik has hailed the fighting spirit of Team India and said that the Men in Blue back themselves to win in any situation. The hosts registered a comfortable 66-run win in the first ODI against England in Pune. However, Virat Kohli's men had to stage a remarkable comeback after the visitors raced to 135-0 inside 15 overs while chasing 318 for victory.
England lost 10 wickets for 116 runs once the opening partnership between Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow was broken. Speaking on Sky Sports, Dinesh Karthik praised India's fast bowlers and the team's ability to make a comeback from any situation.
"This Indian team believes they can win from any situation. 14.2 overs 135-0, and from there, to get them all out in the next 116 runs, it takes a special effort. Credit to the fast bowlers, out of the ten wickets, 9 fell to fast bowlers," the Indian wicket-keeper said.
Karthik acknowledged that the visitors played some ordinary shots and pointed out how the Indian fast bowlers stood out as their English counterparts failed to take many wickets in the middle overs.
"There must be something they (Indian fast bowlers) must be doing right because England couldn't get many wickets through the middle whereas India kept chipping away. Yes, some ordinary shots were played, but the way they bowled, some of the balls that they bowled, especially the one to Moeen Ali. The pressure they created in the middle was fabulous," added Karthik.
Along with India's bowling, the 112-run partnership between KL Rahul and Krunal Pandya changed the game for the home team as the duo added some quickfire runs to set up a challenging total.
There are quite a few intense characters in the Indian team: Dinesh Karthik
Dinesh Karthik believes the winning mentality and the aggressive body language instilled in the Indian team are not just down to Virat Kohli. Karthik gave examples of Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar and branded them as "intense characters". However, the Tamil Nadu wicket-keeper added that Kohli sets the standard by leading from the front.
"We speak a lot about Kohli because of his antics and body language. But there are quite a few intense characters there- Hardik Pandya; you see him he will be chirping all the way; he is somebody who doesn't want to let go. You see Rohit Sharma- he is a quiet guy but plays with so much aggression. Bhuvneshwar Kumar- if you speak to him, he doesn't take losses really well. These kinds of characters with Kohli - the captain of Team India and he leads from the front with the bat and with his body language," Karthik added.
India have taken a 1-0 lead in the three-match ODI series. The second match will be played at the same venue in Pune on March 26.