Shreyas Iyer has revealed that India would continue to preserve Dinesh Karthik for the slog overs after he scored unbeaten 30 runs from 21 balls in the second T20I. Karthik was sent in to bat at No. 7 with five overs left and he played a key role in helping the team to post a total of 148/6.
India suffered their second successive defeat on Sunday by four wickets against South Africa in the ongoing five-match T20I series between the two nations. South Africa invited India to bat first. They were reduced to 90/4 in the 13th over and Dinesh Karthik was supposed to bat at No. 6. However, the team management decided to hold him back for death overs and sent Axar Patel. Karthik batted at No. 7 and had a slow start but switched gears in the end to play a knock of unbeaten 30 runs from 21 balls. His innings helped the team post a total of 148/6 in the end.
Many former cricketers and experts have criticised the decision to send Axar Patel in place of Karthik to bat. However, Shreyas Iyer revealed that the team wanted to optimise th finishing skills of Karthik and so he was preserved for the death overs.
“It’s definitely something we have strategised earlier as well. We had seven overs left and Axar Patel is someone who can take singles, who can keep rotating the strike, And we didn’t require someone to come in and start hitting from ball one at that point of time,” Shreyas said in the post-match presentation.
“Even DK can do that obviously but DK has been a really good asset for us after 15 overs where he can come and straightaway slog the ball. Even he found it difficult to start well. Obviously, the wicket played a huge role in the game, but we will be using this strategy in the next games as well.”
A half-century from Heinrich Klaasen helped the visitors chase down the target and win by four wickets. South Africa will now look forward to win the series in the third T20I and India will need a victory to keep themselves alive in the series.