Having made his return to India’s limited-overs squad in October 2017, veteran batsman Dinesh Karthik is doing a reasonably good job for the team in the lower-middle order. While Karthik has recorded the scores of 37, 64*, 4*, 0 and 26* in his last five ODI innings, he has got out only once in his last seven T20I innings.
Considering the inconsistent past performances of Karthik, this has certainly been a revelation from the Tamil Nadu wicketkeeper batsman. Moreover, he is totally aware of the fact that non-performance may result in him going off the radar once again.
Addressing the media on the eve of India’s final showdown against Bangladesh for the Twenty-20 tri-series trophy, Karthik said: "From where I sit, every tournament is important. One bad tournament and I will be way out. So, in every tournament I need to be at the top of my game and try to do as well as I can.
"There is pressure but at where I am sitting, I need to be able to handle that pressure. I need to embrace it rather than run away from it or use it as an excuse. It doesn't matter whether I play this tournament, IPL or the England series, for me every match is important," he added.
Karthik was a tad unlucky in a way that his earlier days of international career overlapped with the rise of a certain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Nonetheless, his impressive showing in the domestic circuit along with some noteworthy performances in the Indian Premier League often brought him into the international scene.
"Opportunities are few and far in between. The competition in the Indian team is so strong that every time you get an opportunity you need to try and give your best. More importantly, I have to perform.
"I am trying to do well in every match. I am not looking too far at the World Cup. As of now from where I am, every match is important and I am trying to do my best," Karthik said.
India are up against a fearless Bangladesh side in the final on Sunday (March 18), but Karthik said they are geared up to take on the Tigers.
"Everybody has got a decent hit. Up to no. 6 everybody has batted. So this tournament has been good as everybody has been tested and I think we have done a fair job till now. Going into the final a lot of bases are covered for sure," he said.
India may be termed as favourites for tomorrow’s final, but Karthik is reluctant to accept that tag.
"As a team they (Bangladesh) are known for that (fighting spirit). They really try hard. They are a team which achieved Test status not many years ago and they propelled forward in all formats of the game.
"They have done well for themselves, especially in sub-continent conditions. They are a very good team. I think we are trying to focus on our processes and routines, that has given us good results till now," Karthik said.
As the hosts Sri Lanka are out of the tournament courtesy Bangladesh’s thrilling two-wicket victory last night, a relatively empty stadium is likely to greet both the finalists tomorrow. No wonder, Karthik feels it will make a massive difference.
"I think it makes a massive difference. In international cricket you are used to a certain amount of crowd. That is one of the things which spurs you on. It has a massive effect on fielding in the second match we played. I think we fielded the poorest against Bangladesh. We dropped about five catches, we weren't the usual Indian team that's known for its fielding," he said.
"This has been the case for tri-series, so you don't see many tri-series because if the home team is not playing you tend to get a match with a very little crowd. Tomorrow the home team is not playing so I don't know how many people are going to turn up. I wish they turn up in good numbers," Karthik concluded.