After playing a match-winning cameo and becoming only the 11th batsman in IPL to go past 4,000 runs, during a tricky 116-run chase against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday, Kolkata Knight Riders batsman Dinesh Karthik has joked about 'training a lot' during his commentary stint in England.
The 36-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman fired 18 runs off just 12 deliveries and finished the match with a boundary off Sidharth Kaul to hand his team crucial 2 points on a tricky Dubai surface where SRH had managed to score only 115 runs. Three runs were needed off the final over as KKR chased down the target with 6 wickets and 2 balls remaining.
During the course of his match-winning cameo which consisted of three boundaries, the former KKR captain became only the seventh Indian to go past the 4,000-run mark in the IPL. Overall, Karthik is the 11th batsman to achieve the feat.
The right-hand batsman has given strong finishes to KKR this season and after the win against SRH, he jokingly stated that training during his commentary stint in the UK was coming in handy for him in the UAE.
"I thought it was a real good game of cricket. At half-time I knew it would be a tricky chase because the pitch was difficult.
"I was practising a lot when I was doing commentary. Watching the game from afar... no I was just kidding.
"It was just one of those days where I got lucky. This is not a game where you take the game deep. You create opportunities by using the crease and you play your shots," Karthik said after the match.
Further, Dinesh Karthik praised Nitish Rana (25 off 33) for playing according to the team's requirement. Rana and opener Shubman Gill (57) partnered for 58 runs after KKR lost Venkatesh Iyer and Rahul Tripathi early.
"I think you need to be flexible. I would give a lot of credit to Rana, he was playing second fiddle to Shubman. He realised that there was no point matching him shot for shot. He took his time and then hit a couple of big hits," he added.
With the win, fourth-placed KKR have 12 points from a 13 matches. Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Delhi Capitals (DC) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have already qualified for the playoffs. Punjab Kings (PBKS), Rajasthan Royals (RR) and Mumbai Indians (MI) have 10 points from 13, 12, and 12 matches each. Notably, each team plays 14 matches in the league stage of the competition.