Skipper Rohit Sharma played a responsible knock to bring up his 14th T20I fifty but it was Dinesh Karthik who displayed nerves of steel to lead India to a thrilling four-wicket win over Bangladesh in the Nidahas Trophy final at the R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo, on Sunday. Despite having more experience than Vijay Shankar, Karthik was sent out to bat at No.7. Needing five runs off the last ball, Karthik hit a six over extra cover to keep India's T20I record against Bangladesh intact. Karthik, with his aggressive yet composed batting, turned the match on its head when he walked out to bat after Manish Pandey's fall and hit two sixes and as many fours in the 19th over to add vital 22 runs to India's score.
Rohit revealed that he did not see Karthik hitting the last-ball six as he was getting ready for the super over.
"I had walked back in the dressing room to wear my pads," Rohit said in the press conference after a thriller of a match between India and Bangladesh.
"Very happy to see Dinesh doing what he did, he didn't get much game time until now, but he showed his power," said Rohit in the post-match presentation.
"We held him back because of his finishing ability and his experience. And it paid off. I always had a lot of faith in our batting group and we were confident after keeping them to a par score," he said.
"Brilliant game, brilliant for the crowd who have come out in numbers. The support we got here from this crowd was brilliant, it would be a bit different if we were playing Sri Lanka but I would like to thank them for their show tonight," he said.
The stand-in India skipper also took to Twitter and lauded Karthik's heroic knock.
Incredible end to what had been such a great season. What a way to pull off a victory. Magnificent from the entire unit @BCCI— Rohit Sharma (@ImRo45) March 18, 2018
Earlier, Rohit Sharma won the toss and chose to bowl. Riding on the back of a well-made half-century from Sabbir Rahman, Bangladesh put up a total of 166/8 in their quota of 20 overs.
In reply, Rohit gave India a flying start but lost Shikhar Dhawan (10) and Suresh Raina (0) in six balls to slip to 32/2 in 3.3 overs.
Rohit kept the scoring rate high and along with KL Rahul put on 51 runs for the third wicket in six overs to keep India in the hunt.
Rahul scored 24 off 14 balls and his wicket slowed down India's scoring rate drastically.
Rohit fell for 56 to Nazmul Islam in the 14th over with India needing 69 in 40 balls.
In the end, India managed to score 168/6, courtesy skipper Rohit's 14th T20I half-century and a composed finish from Dinesh Karthik.