The World Cup 2019 semi-final between India and New Zealand was stretched to second day in Manchester due to persistent rain. New Zealand, opting to bat, put a competitive 239 runs on a board in yet another low scoring match in the rain marred marquee tournament. From the onset, it looked like a chaseable target but India lost their way, well ahead of the finish line.
Dinesh Karthik had to wait long to make his debut in World Cup. He was the back-up option behind MS Dhoni in the World Cup 2019. In an interaction with Harsha Bhogle, Dinesh Karthik, opened up on how it felt like being promoted ahead of MS Dhoni in the World Cup 2019 semi-final.
Dinesh Karthik: It came as a bit of surprise
As the top-order was touted to well in the semi-final, the team management had clarified Dinesh Karthik, that he would be batting at his regular position. With the No.4 spot kept flexible depending upon the situation and MS Dhoni to follow. But in the World Cup 2019 semi-final, after the top three were sent packing inside five runs in 3.1 overs, Dinesh Karthik was sent up the order but he failed to make the most of it. He also said, the decision came as a surprise to him.
“It came as a bit of a surprise because they had made it very clear that I would be batting at number seven. We had to send a rearguard action just to stem the flow of wickets. I was told to pad up and it all happened in a daze, in a hurry,” Karthik told Cricbuzz.
“But they didn’t expect something like that to happen because we were going pretty strong in the tournament. Rohit was batting so well, you always have Virat, Shikhar had done well till he left. The middle order typically didn’t get enough opportunities to bat, and that is one of the harder ones you know. When the middle order doesn’t get to bat and suddenly are pushed into a big game like this and thrust into such a situation.
“There were many games when a lot of the middle order didn’t even get to bat. It was a hard thing because someone like Dhoni likes to play an x number of balls in a tournament especially leading up to the semi-final. It could be hard in that tournament. You could have the experience, yes, a player like Dhoni has played 300 games, but a World Cup semi-final is a World Cup semi-final. It has its beauty and the pressure around it. And everybody deep down somewhere felt that this could happen in a game, and it so happened in the semi-final,” he added.
India lost the World Cup 2019 semi-final by 18 runs to the Kiwis. New Zealand subsequently entered the final but were beaten by hosts England on account of superior boundary count.