Dinesh Karthik’s strange day out against South Africa in Cuttack

In the second Twenty20 match, Dinesh Karthik will face South Africa

When India and South Africa met in Cuttack for the 2nd T20, Dinesh Karthik had an unusual day at work.

India’s innings was six overs old when Karthik joined the crease.

Karthik faced 14 deliveries and scored eight runs in four overs after coming to the crease. As Harshal Patel was at the other end, the responsibility for finishing the innings rested on him. Think about this: you’ve just had a fantastic IPL, you’ve been drafted into the Indian team, and you’ve got a chance to play Australia.

The first proper international match after a dream comeback, and an empty Cuttack stadium is stunned into silence as you enter the crease. You are batting with a bowler on the other end, and the responsibility for finishing the innings is all yours.

Can you tell me what Dinesh Karthik does? It’s a Dinesh Karthik moment for him. Nortje came in to bowl the penultimate over and smacked him for two boundaries. Over the square leg on the backward side, and behind the square leg on the off side.

The last over was bowled by Pretorius. The third ball of the over was sliced to extra-cover by Harshal and Karthik could have taken a couple, but he refused as he wanted the strike.

If Hardik can deny him the strike, he can defiantly deny it to Harshal. India reached 148 with two consecutive maximums from Karthik.

The next two balls showed why Karthik is playing where he is. It reminded everyone in the stadium, in the Indian dug-out, and to the fans sitting at home that Karthik is here to stay. He isn’t going anywhere.