New Delhi, Oct 30 (SocialNews.XYZ) India's wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik has expressed his admiration for the flawless beginning that the men-in-blue have had in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup. He believes that the hosts will conclude the group stage on top of the standings.
India extended their winning streak to six consecutive victories in this year's premier event by convincingly beating the defending champions, England, with a 100-run margin in Lucknow on Sunday.
This dominant performance has placed India in a commanding position at the pinnacle of the tournament standings, putting them one step closer to securing a spot in the knockout stages of the competition.
Karthik believes that Rohit Sharma and Co. will take much confidence from their triumph over England as they were made to register the win in a much different way to what they were used to.
"India will take plenty of positives. I don’t think they could have got a better game. I think they will go back home and sleep happy that they are on a journey where something special is going to be happening," Karthik said on the latest episode of The ICC Review Podcast.
Karthik also noted how vital it was for India's tailenders to ensure they weren’t dismissed prior to the end of the 50th over, by adding some valuable late runs that pushed their total past 200 against England in Sunday's match.
"At 183/7 in many ways you are playing a game that is well under-par,” Karthik noted. "What was even more beautiful, was to see the likes of Bumrah and Kuldeep fight it out right at the end. That was a very positive sign. Not in terms of a partnership, but in terms of the attitude and what you want to see.
"We saw Pakistan waste 20 balls the other day against South Africa and who knew what would have happened if they had batted those 20 balls. From a point of view of fighting battles and being there for the team and doing the hard things in the big moments, I thought India was good today," he said.
India now require just one more win from their remaining three matches to be certain of reaching the knockout stages of the event. Karthik believes the hosts are well placed to enter the semi-finals in pole position at the head of the standings, with South Africa, New Zealand and Australia the other three teams to join them.
"I think with this win and with what happened yesterday (Australia defeating New Zealand), we are locked in for the four semifinalists," Karthik suggested. "It could be a tournament where it has been decided early and it looks more likely it will be the case unless something extraordinary happens, which I personally don’t think will happen."
"We have the four semi-finalists, it’s just a matter of who is going to be No.2, No.3 and No.4. I think we pretty much know who No.1 is going to be, so it is going to be a question of who is going to be facing India and who No.2 and No.3 are. It is not being cocky, its just with their quality of cricket they are playing," he added.