Dinesh Karthik became an overnight star after his last-ball six helped India beat Bangladesh in a thrilling final and clinch the Nidahas Trophy at R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. With India needing five runs off the last ball, Karthik hit a flat-bat six over extra-cover to keep India's T20I record against Bangladesh intact. After the knock, Karthik said the time spent over the years with Mumbai cricketer Abhishek Nayar had helped him strengthen the mental aspect of his game.
"He (Abhishek Nayar) has been the most important factor in the last two and half years in my career. He has helped me prepare for games. He has made me think in terms of strategy. He also knows what is the right way to work hard. He has been the river and I have been the boat," Karthik said.
Nayar, who made his international debut in 2009, has played three ODIs for India. Karthik was also part of all the three ODIs Nayar played.
With his aggressive yet composed batting, Karthik turned the match on its head when he walked out to bat after Manish Pandey's wicket and smashed two sixes and as many fours in the 19th over off Rubel Hossain to add vital 22 runs to India's score.
Needing five off the final delivery, Karthik smashed Soumya Sarkar over extra-cover to gift India a memorable win.
"It's an amazing feeling. These are things which remain in your memory for a lifetime," an ecstatic Karthik told bcci.tv after the end of the Nidahas Trophy final.
Dinesh Karthik relives the night of his life https://t.co/34A4khn7EQ— Abhishek Mahajan (@Abhishekmonti) March 19, 2018
Karthik has been named the captain of Kolkata Knight Riders for the upcoming IPL and he would like to grow in stature after the platform that Nidahas Trophy has provided him.
"(The forthcoming) IPL is extremely important. It is a fabulous tournament. Indian cricket is where it is because of the IPL. We get to rub shoulders with the best. On a personal note, it is a very important tournament for me," Karthik said.