COLOMBO: Dinesh Karthik has achieved immortality. By hitting the final ball of the match for 6, Karthik single-handedly clinched the T20I Nidahas Trophy for India in dramatic fashion over a gallant Bangladesh side.
The fact that nobody knows what the Nidahas Trophy is, or even why the 6-match tri-series was played in the first place, hasn’t dampened the orgy of hype from cricket websites and journalists. In describing Karthik’s innings as a “stunning 29 not out off 8 balls”, ESPNCricinfo has ensured the match will rank as one of cricket’s most epic games ever played for at least the next two or three days. Until the next T20 promises to top every other match in history.
“That one short innings by Karthik makes my entire career look pedestrian,” tweeted India’s greatest ever cricketer Sachin Tendulkar. “Watching it, I realized that all my efforts in 24 years of Test cricket and ODIs were meaningless. To think I could have faced just 8 balls and been touted as the greatest thing since sliced bread.”
Befitting an innings of such glory, cricket aficionados have already begun placing Karthik’s momentous 8-ball knock alongside such heroic performances as Ian Botham’s match-turning 149* in 1981 and V.V.S. Laxman’s 281 against Australia in 2001.
“Forget Bradman,” raved Arpit Kumar online. “Forget Sachin, too. Karthik just eclipsed them in greatness. This was the greatest innings in cricket history. I will never forget what whatshisname just did.”
Following India’s come-from-behind win on Saturday night, T20 fans are guaranteed to be talking about Karthik’s heroics until at least Tuesday. There is even speculation that such talk could conceivably continue an incredible 24 hours beyond that. Given the track record of T20 results sticking in fans’ minds, that may seem far-fetched. But anything is possible in the Twitterverse where hundreds of millions of fake Indian troll accounts are renowned for keeping regurgitated nonsensical arguments trending for multiple days until they inevitably return to their religious custom of hating on Australian players.
Such is the power of T20 to appeal to the intellectually underprivileged and to overshadow reason and thought, online fans were so dazzled by Karthik’s knock that they couldn’t remember which Bangladesh bowler delivered the final over of the match. “Who cares?” commented Duleep Navathe. “Does anyone remember that Trevor Chappell actually delivered the underarm? All that matters is posting that one shot from Karthik on YouTube and then arguing which batsman hit the best 6 ever. That’s what cricket is all about.”
In less than 24 hours, thanks solely to Karthik, the final of the 2018 Nidahas Trophy is already trending online as the greatest sporting event in human history, overshadowing even Major League Baseball’s 1990 Home Run Derby and Ultimate Warrior defeating Hulk Hogan for the 1990 WWE championship.
The question therefore emerges: How could anything ever top this match or Karthik’s history-changing heroics?
Fortunately for fidgety cricket fans anxious for more, the Indian Premier League starts in just over two weeks. “We can’t wait for the IPL to begin,” said Rajeev Shukal, Chairman of this year’s tournament. “The 2018 edition promises the most games ever: 60 meaningless fixtures to keep cricket fans with ADHD entertained for minutes! Cricket will never be the same again!”
He may be right.