In the last seven innings he has batted with India having won while chasing, Karthik has been in the middle, scoring 141 runs at a strike rate of 142.42.
In the last seven innings he has batted with India having won while chasing, Karthik has been in the middle, scoring 141 runs at a strike rate of 142.42.

Dinesh Karthik received a lot of flak for refusing a single in the third and and the final T20I against New Zealand, which India eventually lost by four runs, managing 12 runs in the final over. (ALSO READ: World Cup the focus as selectors pick India’s ODI squad for Australia)

But, despite that blip, Karthik is gradually gaining in confidence as the designated finisher for India. And he has the numbers to to back it up. In the last seven innings he has batted with India having won while chasing, Karthik has been in the middle, scoring 141 runs at a strike rate of 142.42. In the ODIs, Karthik, along with MS Dhoni,  took India home at Adelaide against Australia in a must-win game, scoring 25 off just 14 balls. (ALSO READ: I genuinely believed that I could hit a six: Dinesh Karthik on not giving the strike to Krunal Pandya)

“That day [against NZ] it didn’t come off, but on other days it has come off. Immediately I went and apologised to Krunal [Pandya]; he was also batting very well. I trusted myself to finish it off, but that’s not a bad place to be,” Karthik told ESPNcricinfo.

Ever since his international debut in 2004, Karthik has never been able to cement his place and even now that might not be the case, but with the 2019 Cricket World Cup on the horizon, the Indian team management seems to have put enough faith on the Tamil Nadu batsman as the finisher of the side.

“One of the things you have to deal with is the pressure of expectations,” he said. “It takes time for people to believe in yourself; to believe you can finish the innings. You try and do it consistently and that’s what you aim to do as a batsman.

“And those [when the asking rate rockets into double digits] are the types of situations you tend to wait for. The more you dread it, the tougher it becomes for you. The more you try to embrace it, the chances are that the more you will come out on top, if you keep practising it consistently and do it in games,” he added.

After the Adelaide match, Karthik, who faced the media had said that the management has told him this is the role for him right now and and they want him to do the best he can. Fair to say, he has done the best he can, but the questions remains will that be enough to guarantee him his first-ever World Cup match, come May.