Dinesh Karthik was widely slammed by fans on social media after he refused a single to all-rounder Krunal Pandya in the last over of the third T20I match against New Zealand which India lost by four runs resulting in the series loss by 1-2.

Defending his decision, Karthik said that he backed himself to finish off the match for India.

Reflecting on his decision, Karthik said, “I think Krunal and I batted really well from that situation (when India were reduced to 145/6 in 15.2 overs). We were able to bring the match down to a place where the bowlers were under pressure.”

“We backed ourselves to do the job. And at that stage (after refusing the single), I genuinely believed that I could hit a six,” Karthik told PTI.

“As a middle-order batsman, a lot of times you have to trust your ability to play those big shots under pressure. It is also important to trust your partner at that time. I did not come off on that occasion but those things happen in the game of cricket. Some days you are able to hit a boundary, some days the bowler does a good job. And there, you have to give credit to Time Southee for the way he executed those yorkers under pressure. One mistake there and I am sure we would have take him down,” Karthik explained.

When asked if the team management talked with him on not taking the single, Karthik said, “They were all aware of the situation and knew we both did the best we could. On that day, we were not good enough. But the support staff, as it has been around for a long time, understood it (our game plan). As I said, you keep practising those situations and because the belief I had in overcoming those situations in practice, I trusted myself do the job in the middle. I was not able to deliver it that day. That is what sport is. The more you back yourself, the more consistent you become in finishing the game.”

India lost the three-match T20I series 1-2 to New Zealand.