Nidahas T20 Tri-Series
'Proud' Rohit reveals India's perfect plan
Dinesh Karthik's clutch last-ball six to seal victory in tri-series final was a result of a well-executed plan, says India T20 captain
19 March 2018, 06:32 PM AEST
India skipper Rohit Sharma lauded Dinesh Karthik's ability to handle pressure after the wicketkeeper-batsman hit a last-ball six to help his side clinch the Nidahas Trophy tri-series final against Bangladesh.
Karthik showcased nerves of steel during his eight-ball 29 to help India pull off a tense 167-run chase and win by four wickets at Colombo's R. Premadasa Stadium.
India were pushed to the brink needing 34 off the last 12 balls but Karthik's whirlwind knock ensured that they stay unbeaten against Bangladesh in eight T20 meetings between the two sides.
Sharma, who set the chase up with his 42-ball 56, said dropping down Karthik to number seven was part of a plan that came off well.
"He has batted in that position in a list of games for his state teams. Even when he was playing for Mumbai Indians (in the Indian Premier League) with me, I knew his ability with the bat," Sharma told reporters.
"He's got some different types of skill shots that would probably be required at that point at the death overs. That was the only reason we held him back. I can proudly say it paid off."
Needing 12 to win off the last over, India lost Vijay Shankar on the penultimate ball but Karthik held his nerve to hit Soumya Sarkar for six, triggering wild celebrations in the dressing room.
Fast bowler Mustafizur Rahman gave away just one run in the 18th over and took the crucial wicket of Manish Pandey, who made 28, to give Bangladesh the edge.
Karthik, who was named man of the match, then stepped up to clobber paceman Rubel Hossain for two sixes and two fours as India took away 22 runs in the 19th over and make the equation easy.
"Dinesh and Manish and Vijay (Shankar) knew that the pressure is on them, so one mistake here and there, and pressure does play a big part. That's exactly what happened," said Sharma.
"We knew he (Karthik) could finish off the game for us."
Sharma also praised Bangladesh for their approach, labelling the underdogs a "very good team" who have vastly improved over the past three years.
"(Bangladesh) play fearless cricket, it's always good. Sometimes, it can bite you when things don't go your way but that is the style of cricket they want to play," Sharma said.
"They are certainly a very good team... in the last three years, we've seen how they've changed their style of cricket.
"A few of the guys who are experienced are nurturing the younger guys."
Sri Lanka bowed out of the tournament, which commemorated 70 years of independence for the island nation, after losing to Bangladesh in a virtual semi-final on Friday.