Karthik blames dropped chances for T20 loss against Windies

Kingston: India’s top-scorer Dinesh Karthik rued the dropped catches that proved decisive in his team’s nine-wicket loss to the West Indies in a one-off Twenty20 match, acknowledging a chance that he himself spilt.

In the sixth over, Lewis went for a lofted straight drive off Bhuvneshwar Kumar but a mix-up between skipper Virat Kohli and Mohammad Shami saw the opportunity go waste.

Four balls later, Lewis gave another chance when he heaved at a Kuldeep Yadav delivery but got a reprieve when an onrushing Karthik, at long-off, couldn’t get into the position.

“If mis-hits go for sixes then you know it is his day but he gave us two chances, we couldn’t hold on to them. Those were costly opportunities and in T20 games every opportunity would cost you a lot. We could see the result went their way mostly because of dropped chances,” Karthik said at the post- match press conference.

Explaining why he couldn’t hold on to the catch, Karthik said: “I am pretty confident of taking high catches in fielding. It is just that I came running in and the breeze took it away slightly more than I thought and from the corner of my eyes I saw Virat running in as well.

“I didn’t want to bump into him and that took a fraction of second for me which made me run more than I should and that kind of didn’t get me in good position and that’s is the reason I dropped the catch,” he said.

India posted 190-6 on a belter but opener Lewis slammed an unbeaten 125 off 62 balls to take West Indies home in just 18.3 overs.

Karthik, who top-scored for his team with a 29-ball 48, said 190 was a good score but it was not India’s day as Lewis seemed unstoppable.

“All said and done, 190 is a good score. On any given day most teams will take 190. But the way the guy played, he hit more sixes than fours. It doesn’t happen too many times that you end up hitting twice the number of sixes than boundaries,” he said.

“It goes to show he was hitting the ball really well. He was targetting areas that we were confident about. Lot of good balls, he was hitting for boundaries, so it is not easy to bowl. It was one of those days when not much was done by us as a bowling unit but those kind of days happen in T20,” he added.

Not a regular in the playing XI, the 32-year-old from Tamil Nadu said he is just trying to score as many runs as possible when he gets an opportunity.

“Given the opportunities given to me, I am trying to do my best. It is a highly competitive team, we have got to put our best foot forward and keep performing and I am trying to do that consistently. My aim is to pile on the runs whenever I get an opportunity, that’s what I am trying to focus on,” he said.

All-rounder Hardik Pandya couldn’t feature in the T20 match after suffering an injury during the warm-up and Karthik said he was missed by the team.

“Players like Hardik Pandya will always be missed because he is a power player, he can hit the big ball and at the same time he has the knack of picking up wickets as well. Obviously it is not great to miss him but freak injuries do happen. These kind of things are not controllable,” he said.

Karthik said overall, the team has done well this year.

“Credit to us as well. We are coming from a big tournament in champions Trophy and come back and put same intensity and performance through the West Indies tour has been good.

“Overall, it has been good year for most players and great opportunity for all to learn and I’m sure we will keep going forward,” he said.