CHENNAI: It was a case of so near yet so far for India in the final T20 game at Hamilton.With 16 required off the final over and Dinesh Karthik at the crease, fans were perhaps reminded of the Nidahas Trophy final, but the batsman failed to pull off an encore. Moreover, he took a decision in the last over which can’t be blamed for the loss, but it ended up raising eyebrows nonetheless.
When 14 was need off four balls, Karthik hit one down the ground, but refused to take a single. It was surprising because at the other end was no tail-ender. Krunal Pandya was going strong and had kept India in the game with some blows of his own. Karthik, by not taking that single, perhaps unknowingly undermined the ability of his partner.
Rohit Sharma did not single out individuals for the eventual loss. “Disappointed, but we fought. It was going to be tough, but we were in it till the end. They held their nerve and kept hitting the yorkers. The boys were excellent throughout the tour and put in a lot of hard work. They will be disappointed tonight but we’ve to learn from the mistakes and move ahead. Would have been nice to fly back with a series win, but lots of positives,” the captain said after the match.
Back home, former India stumper Bharath Reddy also refused to read much into Karthik’s decision. “DK tried his best. Small lapses happen in the heat of the moment, due to the pressure. He has been doing fairly well in the role allotted to him. He had done well against Australia also.”
Room for three keepers
An interesting aspect of this T20I series was that India played three wicketkeepers — MS Dhoni, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik — in the XI. It may have been forced by the situation, since all three are capable batsmen.
“One has to adapt and play the role given by the team management. I see nothing wrong in playing three wicketkeepers. You cannot be choosy and say that I will do this and do that only. The good thing is all the three can bat and deliver what the team wants,’’ said Reddy.
The question on everyone’s mind is whether the trio can be part of the World Cup? Although Pant joined the squad only for the T20Is, he is very much in reckoning.“All the three can be part of the World Cup squad. Dhoni will be our first choice wicketkeeper. He has still got very good reflexes and ball sense. With experience, he knows where exactly the ball will come if the batsman misses it. You got to have a reserve wicketkeeper on an overseas tour and Dinesh has been playing as a batsman for a while.”