“I think it is very interesting because even in the World Cup straightaway the three grounds that come to my mind are Sydney – [where] the sides are slightly smaller and the straights are longer – Adelaide, we all know that the sides are very small and again, the straights are long, whereas in Melbourne, it’s the exact opposite – the straights are short and the sides are very big. So, obviously, we are going to be encountering different grounds wherever we are going to be playing, so the challenges are going to be different.
“Here, the challenges have been different in every venue where we have played. So, the fact that every time you get an opportunity, there’s a certain challenge that comes with just walking in. That is pressure by itself. One of the key things that Rohit [Sharma] and Rahul [Dravid] have spoken about in this series at the start was adaptability and understanding the situations. I think that is something we’ve done pretty well so far.”
“Look, right now in the Indian team, we have the potential to put out two teams or maybe even three teams, in terms of the number of players available,” he said. “I don’t think many countries can boast of that, so to get just 15 players playing from a good lot of 40 players, there are going to be 20-25 players that are going to think: ‘geez! I could have made that team’.
“Pressure is a privilege at this point of time as a cricketer [and] as a sportsperson. It is something that is given to [you] only when playing at the highest level and when people expect certain things out of you.”
Karthik on embracing pressure
“Pressure is a privilege at this point of time as a cricketer [and] as a sportsperson,” Karthik said. “It is something that is given to [you] only when playing at the highest level and when people expect certain things out of you. So, I’m happy; I think what’s important is making sure on a given day what the match situation is, reading the game and trying to give the best on that given day.”
Karthik once again credited India’s team management for nurturing an environment that gave players security and the opportunity to grow into their roles, despite failures.
“This is one of the happiest that I’ve been part of the Indian team… the amount of love and affection that I’ve got, not only from the team and the fans but also the backing from the captain and the coach.
“This is what I’ve aimed for all my life and for the captain and coach to show so much belief in me, it is only fair that I repay the faith by giving performances which will help the team cross the line in many ways, and that is what I’ve been trying to do.”