Dinesh Karthik, who received a surprise promotion to No.5 in the World Cup semi-final, revealed that he was taken aback by the move to bat up the order and added that he was always told he’ll bat at No.7. Eventually, 6 runs was all Karthik could manage, as India slumped to a 18-run defeat.
After being set a target of 240 in the semi-final of the World Cup against the Kiwis, the Indian batsmen were expected to dust off the total easily, but things took a wild turn when the trio of Kohli, Rohit and Rahul fell within the fourth over, leaving the side reeling at 5-3.
And while MS Dhoni was expected to walk in at No.5 to arrest the flow of wickets, the team management dropped a bombshell by instead sending Dinesh Karthik up the order. Karthik did do the job he was told to - stop the collapse - as he batted out 25 balls, but eventually, he perished thanks to a blinder of a catch from Jimmy Neesham.
Speaking to Harsha Bhogle about the semi-final encounter, Karthik has now revealed that he was genuinely surprised by the promotion and added that lack of match practice for the middle-order kind of played its role in the downfall of the Men in Blue on that day.
"It came as a bit of a surprise to me (walking in to bat at five) because they had made it very clear that I would be batting at number seven," Karthik said in a chat with Harsha Bhogle on Cricbuzz In Conversation.
"But they didn't expect something like that to happen because we were going pretty strong in the tournament. Rohit was batting so well, you always have Virat, Shikhar had done well till he left. The middle order typically didn't get enough opportunities to bat, and that is one of the harder ones you know. When the middle order doesn't get to bat and suddenly are pushed into a big game like this and thrust into such a situation.”
Having batted just once in the tournament prior to the semis, Karthik revealed how the management had always told him he was going to bat at No.7, below MS Dhoni. He further recalled how he was not even ready with his gear when Rahul’s wicket fell and how he had to rush to the ground after being told that he was going to be promoted in order to stem the wicket flow.
"We had to send a rearguard action just to stem the flow of wickets. I was told to pad up and it all happened in a daze, in a hurry. I was just sitting in my shorts and I had to go up, get ready. Literally, I was late to get in, I wasn't expecting a wicket to fall. KL (Rahul) got out and I had to put on my pads.
"Throughout the tournament it was pretty clear that I was going to bat below Dhoni at number seven. I had done that really well in the past. In Australia we'd finished games, in New Zealand we'd finished games. I had not batted at number five for a couple of years or more. Here I got the opportunity, I went and did the job that was asked of me for the team, which was to arrest wickets."
The 34-year-old, who is also the captain of Tamil Nadu and Kolkata Knight Riders, has not featured for Team India since the rushed semi-final appearance against the Kiwis.
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