Dinesh Karthik said the Indian team management has always been very clear about his batting position in the World Cup, disclosing that he was instructed to assess the situation and play accordingly at No. 7.
Karthik replaced Kedar Jadhav in the game against Bangladesh, his World Cup debut, having first got the taste of international cricket back in 2004. Asked about his role, the senior keeper-batsman said: “I think they’ve been very clear on what my role has been. When I go in at No. 7, I need to pace myself accordingly if we bat second.”
“If we are batting first, then make sure we get to the par score that’s required. They’ve made it clear that this is where I’ll be batting, and my role is to make sure, whatever the situation is, assess it and do the best that I can,” the Tamilnadu cricketer said.
One of the designated finishers in the Indian line-up, Karthik is happy that he has finally got a chance to play at the global event after having cooled his heels in the three games in the 2007 edition in West Indies.
“I’ve been waiting to get this opportunity. So the motivation is there. The hunger is there. It’s about going there and executing. Yes, it didn’t exactly go according to plan against Bangladesh. But I’m sure that in the games to come, I’ll try and put my best foot forward,” said the man who has played only 92 ODIs in a decade-and-a-half.
In this edition of World Cup, teams have found it difficult to chase totals in excess of 300 and Karthik attributes it largely to the conditions. The slowness of the track in the second-half has contributed a lot, he feels.
“When you are batting second, I think the wicket changes a bit, becomes slightly slower and it helps the spinners a little bit. For a lot of the teams, they’re bowling cross-seam and the wicket has been a little up-and-down as well.”
“It’s not been that easy to execute shots. And also this is a World Cup, so obviously there’s a bit of scoreboard pressure, and I think a lot of teams have fallen prey to that as well,” the 34-year-old assessed.
However, he maintained that the Indian team’s strength has been to chase down totals and it still remains like that.
“No, to be honest, I think India is a team where there have been good chasers for a long time and we’re very confident of chasing. I was asked why teams haven’t chased enough. I think the reason being they’re worried about the scoreboard pressure. But having said that I think we as a team believe that we are good chasers, because that’s what we do day in, day out,” a confident Karthik said.