'That's what makes him so special': Dinesh Karthik heaps big praise for India teammate, calls him 'world class'
With nine required off the final over in 2nd T20I, Dinesh Karthik smashed Daniel Sams for a six and followed it with a four to help India bounce back in the three-match series, which now stands at 1-1.
Dinesh Karthik once again stood up to the task in a truncated second T20I between India and Australia in Nagpur, which the former won by six wickets. The encounter saw a late start due to wet outfield and the contest was reduced to 8-over a side. Australia batting first handed the hosts a 91-run target, which India completed with four deliveries to spare. With nine required off the final over, the veteran wicketkeeper-batter smashed Daniel Sams for a six and followed it with a four to help India bounce back in the three-match series, which now stands at 1-1.
Karthik was preferred over Rishabh Pant in the series opener in Mohali but the truncated match allowed India to field both wicketkeeper-batters in the playing XI.
"Today we required four bowlers to finish off the 8 overs as each bowled two but we actually had five options. So when you have five options, that's the luxury of having a world class all rounder in Hardik Pandya," said Karthik at the post-match press conference following the second T20I.
"When Hardik Pandya is there in the 11, then 11 gets balanced very well, an extra batsmen or extra bowler can play, that's the luxury you have and that's what makes him so special," he added.
Ever since returning to action, which started from the previous edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Pandya has been enjoying imperious form. The all-rounder has been on fire with the bat and he has been equally crafty with the ball.
Pandya managed just 9 runs in the same number of deliveries in the second T20I between India and Australia, but he was India's standout performer in the series opener. Then Pandya had scored an unbeaten 71 off 30 balls, helping India pile a gigantic 208/6 in 20 overs, a total which the bowlers failed to defend.