India's heart-breaking 4-run loss in the T20I series decider against New Zealand in Hamilton on Sunday prevented a perfect Down Under tour. India had needed 16 runs in the last over during their 213-run chase and two well-set batsmen in Dinesh Karthik and Krunal Pandya were at the crease.
Karthik's refusal to take a single off the third ball is being called a mistake by a lot but there is a reason why the Tamil Nadu batsman did that.
"I think Krunal and I batted really well. We were able to bring the match down to a place where the bowlers were under pressure. We backed ourselves to do the job. And at that stage (after refusing the single), I genuinely believed that I could hit a six," Karthik told PTI, while confessing that things did not go according to plan.
Karthik is one of the most effective finishers for India in the shorter formats. Even though he failed to take the team to victory at Hamilton, him and Krunal were were the only reasons India could make a fight of the huge chase, after being 145 for six in the 16th over, with 68 more needed off 28 balls.
"As a middle-order batsman, a lot of times you have to trust your ability to play those big shots under pressure. It is also important to trust your partner at that time. I did not come off on that occasion but those things happen in the game of cricket," Karthik stated.
"Some days you are able to hit a boundary, some days the bowler does a good job. And there, you have to give credit to Time Southee for the way he executed those yorkers under pressure. One mistake there and I am sure we would have taken him down," added Karthik.
When aksed whether anyone in the team felt he should have taken the single and maybe the game would have had a different result, Karthik said, "They were all aware of the situation and knew we both did the best we could. On that day, we were not good enough. But the support staff, as it has been around for a long time, understood it (our game plan). As I said, you keep practising those situations and because the belief I had in overcoming those situations in practice, I trusted myself do the job in the middle. I was not able to deliver it that day. That is what sport is. The more you back yourself, the more consistent you become in finishing the game."