It was Tamil Nadu's fourth Vijay Hazare Trophy title after they beat Bengal by 37 runs in the final game at Feroz Shah Kotla.
Dinesh Karthik scored his second century of the tournament and played a key role in Tamil Nadu's victory in the Vijay Hazare title. The 31-year old wicket-keeper batsman felt delighted after his team’s victory in the 50-over domestic trophy.
In an exclusive discussion with Indian Express, Dinesh said, “It was obviously very hard for us. Mohammed Shami, Ashok Dinda and Kanishk (Seth) are a very good bowling attack. The way they bowled in the starting it was phenomenal. Dinda, in particular, bowled really well, got three initial breakthroughs, and that was a setback for us. It was tough for us to come back from there but we fought it out and it was good for us to put up a score that was challenging.”
Karthik got out (hit-wicket) in the 48th over while batting at 112 as well forged an 85-run partnership with Baba Indrajith and a 38-run sixth wicket stand with Washington Sundar.
The right-handed batsman said that he continued to play strokes without changing his rhythm. Karthik added, “I pretty much played like this throughout the tournament I did not try to change or alter it too much, where I have trusted my skills.”
Dinesh said about the absence of L Balaji and Subramaniam Badrinath and the inclusion of new faces like Washington and Ravi Srinivasan Sai Kishore in the squad as well the transformation of Tamil Nadu over the years, “It is very interesting; I think TNPL (Tamil Nadu Premier League) has really helped, us. Lately, it has really shown us with young cricketers like T Natrajan. Our whole team has changed from what it was last year and what it is now. And with Rishi and Balaji (support staff) back, they have done a good job and their involvement has been a boost for us.”
When asked about whether he expects to play the Champions Trophy, the wicket-keeper batsman replied “I am not gonna lie, I am always dreaming of playing for India and that’s the ultimate aim. Whenever you play for your state, you try your best so you can put your name up there and get selected. I’m no different and I’m trying very hard to achieve that.”
He further added, “I have always felt that batting is my strength and I always enjoy my keeping. I always preferred to bat up the order and that’s what I have been doing across all the formats. I feel it is important to be consistent and that is what I’m looking forward to.”
On being asked about his team’s performance in the Vijay Hazare final, He concluded, “To be very honest my memory is very poor. I don’t remember too many innings but most important this one means a lot as it came in the final. The kind of situation we were put in and the way I batted, to my best of the abilities. I can say that I’m satisfied with the effort. Also, our bowlers did a wonderful job. Whenever they (Bengal) started building up a partnership we were able to squeeze in and break the partnership and that is where we made the difference.”