Everything went according to plan, says Kaarthick

Tamil Nadu’s Dinesh Kaarthick is known to take it to the opposition under any circumstances.

With the score on 287 for three and the run rate languishing at around 2.7, the 27-year-old came in with his mind set on dispatching the Karnataka bowlers. Kaarthick succeeded as he struck a fiery, unbeaten 154 from 182 balls with 14 hits to the fence and four sixes to take Tamil Nadu to 538 for four declared on day two of their Group ‘B’ Ranji Trophy match at the MA Chidamb­aram stadium.

“Not really,” Kaarthick told reporters when asked if he went out to bat aggressively as the run rate was dipping. “It was not something I was worried about. I would’ve played anyway. That’s just the way I play so I wasn’t concerned.”

Expressing his satisfaction with the batting unit’s performance, the India international said that they did better than what they had expected. “We were looking at 450-plus so we are happy with what we got in the end. It was important to stitch together partnerships so I think everything went according to plan. It’s a great start for (Baba) Aparajith’s career. I really wish he builds from here. Everybody is aware of his potential,” opined the wicketkeeper.

Looking ahead, Kaarthick said: “It is going to be interesting. Only four wickets have fallen in two days but somehow I get the feeling that four wickets are a little too less for the way this wicket has panned out.”

Aparajith was elated after scoring his maiden Ranji Trophy century after just five matches. “It feels really good to score my first first-class century,” said the member of the Indian U-19 World Cup-winning team. “I was just desperate for it. I couldn't do it last year, so I was determined this year. I just wanted to stay in the crease and I knew I could do it.”

When asked if that ‘desperation’ made it hard for him towards the end, Aparajith said: “It was not like that. The first phase was a bit more difficult than the last phase. Once you get settled, it's tough to get you out on this track because it was too slow.”

Meanwhile, Karnataka skipper R Vinay Kumar hoped his team could take the first innings lead. “We are looking to take the innings lead. It is a tough challenge but we are going to try and make that happen. Even if we had batted first we could’ve put up such a score,” remarked the 28-year-old.

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