"I genuinely believed that I could hit a six," Indian wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik said as he reflected on refusing a single to non-striker Krunal Pandya in the series-deciding loss to New Zealand in the third T20 International.
On Sunday night at Hamilton, things did not go as per plan in the final over, in which India needed 16 runs, and the 33-year-old has no qualms in accepting that. Karthik refused a single to the big-hitting Krunal off the third ball of the over leading to some debate on whether he took the right decision.
"I think Krunal and I batted really well from that situation (145/6). We were able to bring the match down to a place where the bowlers were under pressure. We backed ourselves to do the job. And at that stage (after refusing the single), I genuinely believed that I could hit a six," Karthik told PTI on Wednesday.
"As a middle-order batsman, a lot of times you have to trust your ability to play those big shots under pressure. It is also important to trust your partner at that time. I did not come off on that occasion but those things happen in the game of cricket."
Both Krunal and Karthik shared an unbeaten 63-run stand off 28 balls but it was not enough to save the series. India lost the game by four runs and series 1-2.
"Some days you are able to hit a boundary, some days the bowler does a good job. And there, you have to give credit to Time Southee for the way he executed those yorkers under pressure. One mistake there and I am sure we would have got the runs," said Karthik.
Asked if the team management had a word with him on not taking that single, Karthik said: "They were all aware of the situation and knew we both did the best we could. On that day, we were not good enough. But the support staff, as it has been around for a long time, understood it (our game plan).
Karthik, who has credited Mumbai stalwart Abhishek Nayar for his recent success, can't recollect days when he has batted better.
"If you go by the results, definitely yes (his best run in international cricket). It has been a good couple of years. There is some continuity and that feels good. The team has also done well so it has been a great couple of years."