Tamil Nadu lifted Vijay Hazare Trophy by defeating Bengal by 37 runs at the Ferozshah Kotla stadium on Monday. This is the fourth time Tamil Nadu has picked up the Trophy while back then in 2005 they shared the trophy with Uttar Pradesh.
Tamil Nadu wicket-keeper batsman, Dinesh Karthik, played a heroic knock as he scored his second century of the tournament and was instrumental in the win.
Speaking to Indian Express, the 31-year old cricketer felt delighted after his team’s triumph in the 50-over domestic trophy.
Tamil Nadu had lost four top order wickets early including skipper Vijay Shankar with only 49 runs on the board. “It was obviously very hard for us,” said Karthik, “Mohammed Shami, Ashok Dinda and Kanishk (Seth) are a very good bowling attack. The way they bowled in the starting it was phenomenal. Dinda, in particular, bowled really well, got three initial breakthroughs, and that was a setback for us. It was tough for us to come back from there but we fought it out and it was good for us to put up a score that was challenging.”
The right-handed batsman, who got out (hit-wicket) in the 48th over while batting at 112, forged a 85-run stand with Baba Indrajith and a 38-run sixth-wicket partnership with Washington Sundar.
He said that he continued to play strokes despite wickets falling at the other end, without changing his tempo. “I pretty much played like this throughout the tournament I did not try to change or alter it too much, where I have trusted my skills,” he said.
On the absence of L Balaji and Subramaniam Badrinath and the inclusion of new cricketers like Washington and Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore and the transformation of Tamil nadu over the years, Karthik quickly said “It is very interesting, I think TNPL (Tamil Nadu Premier League) has really helped us. Lately it has really shown us with young cricketrs like T Natrajan. Our whole team has changed from what it was last year and what it is now. And with Rishi and Balaji (support staff) back, they have done a good job and their involvement has been a boost for us.”
Karthik, who started the tournament by hitting a match winning ton against Delhi, was the top scorer for his side in the tournament with over 600 runs. His last international appearance was against Afghanistan in an Asia Cup fixture in March 2014.
On being asked about whether he expects to play the Champions Trophy. He replied “I am not gonna lie, I am always dreaming of playing for India and that’s the ultimate aim. Whenever you play for your state, you try your best so you can put your name up there and get selected. I’m no different and I’m trying very hard to achieve that.”
“I have always felt that batting is my strength and I always enjoy my keeping. I always preferred to bat up the order and thats what I have been doing across all the formats. I feel it is important to be consistent and that is what I’m looking forward for.” he added.”
He made his List-A debut in 2003 and so far he has managed to score 5613 runs from 195 matches.
“I think it is important when you are in good form, you bat as long as much as you can. It is very easy to get carried away, play a lose stroke and give it away. Over a period of time I have learnt that I don’t do such kind of mistakes and keep going.”
With the 37-run win Tamil Nadu has now been unbeaten against Bengal in the finals of Vijay Hazare Trophy.
“To be very honest my memory is very poor. I don’t remember to many innings but most important this one means a lot as it came in the final. The kind of situation we were put in and the way I batted, to my best of the abilities. I can say that I’m satisfied with the effort. Also, our bowlers did a wonderful job. Whenever they (Bengal) started building up a partnership we were able to squeeze in and break the partnership and that is where we made the difference,” he concluded after being asked about his teams performance in the final clash.
Tamil Nadu will be play against India A and India B in the Deodhar Trophy, which begins from March 25.