Dinesh Karthik, the discarded Indian cricketer, was taken by surprise after he was sent to bat at five in the 2019 World Cup. The veteran had a terrible outing as he could manage six off 25 before mistiming one off fast bowler Matt Henry. Karthik said that the Men in Blue, captained by Virat Kohli, was jolted badly after how dominating they were in the league stage.
When Karthik came in, India were reduced to five for three in the fourth over. MS Dhoni came to bat after Hardik Pandya’s dismissal with India’s score at 71 for five in the 23rd over. The 34-year-old Karthik mentioned that he was sent in to stop the hemorrhage of wickets.
“It came as a bit of a surprise because they had made it very clear that I would be batting at number seven. We had to send a rear-guard action just to stem the flow of wickets. I was told to pad up and it all happened in a daze, in a hurry,” Karthik was quoted as saying in Cricbuzz.
Dhoni has played 300 games, but a WC semi has its pressure: Dinesh Karthik
In the World Cup, India’s top-order, consisting of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan, did most of the work. Karthik said that at the back of their minds, the players knew that the middle-order didn’t have much of a hit and a calamity was on the cards.
“There were many games when a lot of the middle order didn’t even get to bat. It was a hard thing because someone like Dhoni likes to play an x number of balls in a tournament especially leading up to the semi-final. It could be hard in that tournament,” he said.
Karthik was also of the opinion that pressure of a knockout game can the better of even someone like MS Dhoni. “You could have the experience, yes, a player like Dhoni has played 300 games, but a World Cup semi-final is a World Cup semi-final. It has its beauty and the pressure around it,” Karthik added.
Dhoni helped India make some sort of a comeback courtesy a 116-run stand with Ravindra Jadeja. He went on to score 50 off 72, but couldn’t get his side over the finishing line.
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