India’s stand-in captain Rohit Sharma defended his decision of sending Vijay Shankar ahead of experienced Dinesh Karthik in the final encounter of the Nidahas Trophy T20 tri-series at R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo on March 18 which Team India won in a last-ball thriller.
Fans were left stunned after Vijay Shankar came in to bat after captain Rohit Sharma played a knock of 56 runs in 42 balls and got out. India then needed 69 runs in 40 balls.
Shankar and his partner Manish Pandey started building the innings. While Pandey displayed some superb shots, Shankar supported him from the other end.
But with 37 needed in the last three overs, Shankar played four dot balls which mounted the pressure and as a result, Pandey, while trying for a big one, was caught by Sabbir Rahman off Mustafizur Rahman. Pandey played 27 balls and slammed three boundaries.
Then came Karthik who smashed Bangladesh bowlers all around the park and scored 29 runs off just 8 balls he faced. With five runs needed off just one ball, Karthik showed his experience and slammed a flat six over extra cover to guide India to victory.
“Any changes that we made in the game, it is due to some reasons and we think many a time before doing such changes,” Rohit Sharma said during the post-match conference.
“We wanted to have one of the experienced guy to bat at the end. I thought Mustafizur (Rahman) would bowl probably the 18th or the 20th over. We wanted an experienced batsman to handle him. We knew that he’ll come out with his off-cutters and slowers. Dinesh (Karthik) we probably thought the better choice at the end,” the Indian captain added.
Earlier, Bangladesh rode on Sabbir Rahman’s 50-ball 77 to post 166/8 after recovering from a top-order stutter.
With this victory, India kept their unbeaten record against Bangladesh in T20Is intact.