Dinesh Karthik: It’s Sri Lanka first, semifinal later

India No.7 Karthik finds it hard to pinpoint a semifinal favourite as knockouts are all about performing on that given day.

India batsman Dinesh Karthik addresses the media ahead of the World Cup 2019 match against Sri Lanka at Headingley in Leeds.   -  AP

Dinesh Karthik’s career has been a tale of the patient wait. He was part of India’s 2007 World Cup squad to the West Indies but the wicketkeeper-batsman never got a game in a doomed campaign. He finally made his debut in cricket’s global tournament during the recent match against Bangladesh at Birmingham’s Edgbaston.

Karthik, who spoke to reporters at Headingley here on Friday, insisted that though the semifinals linger close, the Men in Blue are focussing on Saturday’s contest against Sri Lanka.

Excerpts.

Top priority

First up is Sri Lanka. There are a few things a few players would want to achieve personally and as a team as well. We want to play our best game. We do have the semifinal at the back of our minds but we are professional enough to play a very clinical game against Sri Lanka.

Semifinal prophecies

It's a World Cup semifinal and it's hard to say which team is a threat. The beauty of a tournament like this is that once you hit the semifinal mark, it's just that one day and you have to make sure that you stand up on that day.

World Cup debut

I have been around for 15 years. So to play that game, I felt really happy. For me to come here and sit out the initial bit and then get a chance against Bangladesh, was something that I was looking forward to. I would like to do the best I can. I have been waiting for this opportunity, the hunger is there.

Role definition

When I go in at number seven, I need to assess the situation and play accordingly. If we need to cross the line when we are batting second, I need to pace myself accordingly. If you are batting first, then make sure we get to the par score that's required.

The chase

India has been good chasers and we are very confident of chasing. As for other teams, there could be scoreboard-pressure. As a team we have the ability to handle pressure and we would back ourselves to chase and get the totals that we believe we can achieve.