New Delhi: It was the final ball of the match, and India needed five runs to register a famous win against Bangladesh in the final of the Nidahas trophy. Keeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik then smashed Soumya Sarkar for a flat six to take India home.
One could easily say that India would have lost the match, if not for Karthik’s efforts towards the end. Sent in to bat at no. 7, Karthik powered his way to 29 runs from just eight balls.
India lost the plot when Manish Pandey and Vijay Shankar could the score the runs at a brisk pace. The latter scored 17 runs from 19 deliveries that made matters worse. In fact in one Mustafizur Rahman over, he played four consecutive dot deliveries, and one in the final over of the match. In an interview with Times of India, Shankar said he’s still disappointed that he could not take India to a win.
“I’m still disappointed about the five misses (dot balls), disappointed that I couldn’t finish it in those last two balls having struck a crucial four in the third ball of the last over. At that level you rarely get such a chance in your first knock. If I had hit a six, things would have been different. I was more disappointed with the fact that I had prepared hard for such a situation all along but couldn’t deliver," Shankar said.
Shankar, who had played with Mustafizur in the IPL, said that facing him in a high-pressure situation was difficult.
“It’s a different thing to see Mustafizur in nets and face him in the match. On another day, I wouldn’t have missed those balls in such a situation. I wouldn’t attribute it to pressure factor but I think maybe it wasn’t my day.
“Obviously, after missing the first three balls I was still thinking, I haven’t connected three on the trot. In hindsight, I would say I should have tapped and run a single. Yet, I still scored a boundary in the final over. But the fact that I stood there till the end gave me a different experience. Having endured such an experience, I think it will keep me in good stead in the future," he added.
Despite his failure, Shankar got a pat on the back from players in the dressing room. “Everyone patted me on the back and consoled me. Most of the players told me that I wasn’t the first one to undergo such an experience and motivated me," added Shankar.