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Skipper Dinesh Karthik led from the front as his fighting century helped Tamil Nadu defeat Bengal by 37 runs to clinch the Vijay Hazare Trophy. It was the third time in history that Tamil Nadu beat Bengal to get their hands on the trophy (and fifth time overall).
Post the win, Karthik – who scored 112 off 120 balls – said:
“It was hard you know Shami, Dinda and Kanishk, they are a good bowling attack. They bowled really well, Dinda especially you know, he got three initial breakthroughs that set us back. It was tough for us to comeback but I think the boys sort it out to put up a score on the board which was challenging,” an elated Karthik said after the win.
Despite the team under-pressure, Karthik did not stop himself from going after Bengal bowlers. It should be fair to say his natural game guided him to the three-figure mark.
“Well, I have trusted my throughout the tournament and just playing at the same tempo, didn’t change it too much. I didn’t try to alter too much,” he said.
Tamil Nadu team has changed a lot in past few years as many of their senior players have retired and with Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) coming into play, many new players have come to the fore. Speaking on the same, Karthik said:
“It’s interesting, you know TNPL has really helped us because you know it has given us a few new cricketers. Natarajan, Sai Kishore. All these boys coming in and doing so well, the whole set up has been changed from last to this year and with Hrishikesh Kanitkar and LP Balaji coming in, they have done well. All the boys stood up, Vijay Shankar led pretty well,”.
Karthik ended as the highest run-scorer of the tournament with 607 runs. With this, it can be said he has pressed his claim for a spot in the final squad of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy.
“I am not gonna lie. I always dream of playing for India, that’s the ultimate aim I think. Whenever you play for your state, you are trying your best to put your name and get selected for India. So I have been trying really hard. As I said batting is my strength and I have always enjoyed keeping as well. I bat at the top of the order in IPL. I have been confident regarding my batting but the main thin is to be consitent,” he added.
It was a special win for Tamil Nadu as it was the third time when Tamil Nadu and Bengal were up against each other in the final and again, Karthik’s side got the better of Bengal to win the tournament. Speaking on the psychological advantage over Bengal keeping in mind their past record, Karthik said:
“We started fresh this season. It was a different team. last time Sourav Ganguly played for them, it is different this time so you know it is totally different team then and now.”