On March 18, 2018, Indian cricket witnessed one of its most cherished moments courtesy of Dinesh Karthik’s heroics in the final of the Nidahas Trophy against Bangladesh in Colombo. With five runs to win off the final ball, the Indian stumper smacked a six over extra-cover to end the game.
Calling it "one of the most pleasurable days" of his life, Dinesh Karthik reckons that it was one of those days when whatever he tried came off.
Speaking exclusively to Sportskeeda’s Indranil Basu on SK Live, the Tamil Nadu cricketer recalled:
“It was a great tournament. It was one of the most pleasurable days in my life. I was very happy as whatever I tried that day came off. So, it was an awesome day.”
Rohit Sharma was leading a fringe Indian side for the T20I tri-series tournament. The side remained unbeaten and marched to the final where they faced an in-form Bangladesh. Chasing 167, the Indian innings was set up by their skipper Rohit’s fifty.
Dinesh Karthik walked in at No.7 with 34 runs required off the last two overs. While Vijay Shankar struggled with his striking, Karthik smacked Rubel Hossain for 22 runs off the penultimate over. He went on to triumph over the twists and turns and smacked a last-ball six off Soumya Sarkar to pull off a stunning win.
Karthik’s eight-ball 29 not out won him the Player of the Match.
Dinesh Karthik emphasized his practice methods and stated that he believed in his ability to pull off the match despite walking in with 17 runs required per over.
“Yes, definitely (I thought I could win it). I practice a lot for those situations, so I always go in with that mindset. I had it in the back of my mind that I could achieve it. You can’t pull it off every day, but you need to have the belief,” added Dinesh Karthik, the Tamil Nadu captain who led the side to the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (SMAT) this year.
Dinesh Karthik would later credit former Indian cricketer Abhishek Nayar for helping him with his game.
Dinesh Karthik, the first Indian T20I hero
India played their first-ever T20I in Johannesburg during their 2006-07 tour of South Africa. Dinesh Karthik’s patient 31 not out won him the Player of the Match.
India’s next T20I assignment was the 2007 T20 World Cup where the MS Dhoni-led Indian team created history by winning the tournament. Dinesh Karthik was also part of the squad that won the inaugural T20 World Cup.