MS Dhoni the designated man behind the stumps for India in the limited-over formats, many have wondered about Dinesh Karthik's position in the team as a specialist batsman. Karthik on Tuesday yet again proved his worth with the bat to the Indian team with a brilliant cameo in India's 299-run chase against Australia at Adelaide. The 33-year-old opened up about his role in the team and said that the management has identified the role of a finisher for him at number six. Karthik along with Dhoni played that role to perfection to help India chase down a tricky target and draw level in the three-match ODI series.
Karthik came into bat after the fall of skipper Virat Kohli, who scored his 39th century in ODIs. With still a fair bit to do, Karthik scored an unbeaten 25 off just 14 balls, including two fours, to take the pressure off Dhoni at a crucial juncture.
"I've practiced it (finishing games), worked on it and it's a skill I think is very important. It's a skill where you need to have a cool head. A lot of experience helps. This is probably one of the hardest skills in the game. To finish a match and be on the winning side is something that is great to be a part of," said the stylish right-hander.
"Definitely the team management has told me this is the role for me right now. And they want me to do the best I can. They are backing me completely. They have told me that this is where I'm going to bat and this is what they expect out of me and I'm trying to achieve that," he added.
Karthik and MS Dhoni added 57 runs for fifth wicket to get India across the line with four balls to spare. Dhoni played a crucial knock of 55 not out off 54 balls and turned back the clock with couple of lusty blows, including one in the final over of the match.
"I think Dhoni's been pretty solid this series. It was the kind of innings he's played over and over again. So it was great to watch him bat and finish off an innings. We know he can absorb pressure and release it back to the opponents when the time is right. That has always been his strength and today you saw the perfect example of that," Karthik said.
"He knew his plans and I knew my plans and we were just complementing each other," he added.
Dhoni had faced a lot of criticism for his slow knock in Sydney but in Adelaide he hit two sixes in his unbeaten knock.
"He doesn't think there are 10 overs and how to score in them, but he thinks about how the bowler is bowling now and that's all he thinks.
"Dhoni and I knew that we were just one hit away in the last over, so we were not tense. Even the bowler knew they were under pressure as he has to execute six great balls to stop us from scoring. One mistake he made, we would have pounced on him and the first ball he hit a beautiful six which kind of sealed the deal," he said.