Dinesh Karthik became the toast of the 1.3 billion nation on Sunday night when he single-handedly powered India to a memorable win against Bangladesh in the final of the 2018 Nidahas T20 tri-series. Needing 5 to win off the last ball, Karthik smacked an overpitched delivery outside off from Soumya Sarkar over the extra cover boundary for a maximum to seal off an improbable win for the men in blue.
Regular skipper Virat Kohli, who was not part of the India squad for the Nidahas Trophy also praised the Indian team and Karthik through his official Twitter handle on Monday. He praised his teammates for a "complete team performance" and lauded Karthik's sensational knock that powered India to a big win against Bangla Tigers.
The 32-year old Karthik played a match-winning cameo of unbeaten 29 off just 8 balls at a mind-boggling strike rate of 362.51 that included two boundaries and three mighty sixes. Speaking at the post-match conference, Karthik said: "I have been practising these shots - having a strong base and then hitting from there".
"Happy to be where I'm and thanks to the support staff who have kept on supporting me for the last few months," he added.
Earlier, skipper Rohit Sharma's (56 off 42 balls) dismissal set India's inexperienced middle-order in panic mode and Vijay Shankar's four dot balls off the 18th over by Mustafizur Rahaman made it very difficult for India. Karthik came at the start of the19th over and hit Rubel Hossain for 22 including two sixes and two fours to bring down the equation to 12 off the final over before finishing it off in style.
A partisan Sri Lankan crowd, who were upset by Bangladesh's behaviour did the now famous 'Nagin Dance' (Snake Dance') along with Indian supporters leaving the Tigers distraught.
Virat Kohli will next be seen in action during the eleventh edition of Indian Premier League as captain of the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Some other Indian cricketers and sport stars also congratulated the men in blue and Karthik for his heroics.
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) March 18, 2018
A six over the cover boundary in such a pressure situation while requiring 5 off the last ball. Phewwww. Awesome @DineshKarthik What a game guys. Congrats #TeamIndia @ImRo45 on winning the cup. #NidahasTrophy2018 #INDvBAN— Robin Aiyuda Uthappa (@robbieuthappa) March 19, 2018
What an unbelievable knock from @DineshKarthik last night, knowing him well this was something that he always wanted to do and it came through on the finals night. 🙌— Ashwin Ravichandran (@ashwinravi99) March 19, 2018