The equation changed to 34 off two overs when Karthik came in to bat, but the experienced finisher - he was Man of the Match in India's very first T20I back in 2006 - displayed huge calmness to smash Rubel Hossain for a couple of sixes and fours to score 22 runs in the penultimate over.
The wicketkeeper-bat made a storming entry.
The game was also considered to be the most anticipated, as India had never lost to Bangladesh in any T20s. But one man kept his cool.
The final of the Nidahas Trophy was a tight and closely-contested encounter between India and Bangladesh.
However, an angry Shakib Al Hasan's attempt to call the team off the ground and allegedly damaging of the dressing room by Bangladeshi players is a testimony that they still have some way to go as far as composure is concerned. India won the toss and the skipper and the present Captain of the Indian team chose to bowl first.
After spinners Yuzvendra Chahal (3/18) and Washington Sundar (1/20) took four wickets between them to leave their rivals reeling at 68/4 at one stage, Sabbir mixed caution with aggression to hit seven fours and four sixes before Jaydev Unadkat (2/33) took his wicket.
On Sunday, he put the brakes on Bangladesh openers' scoring rate with clever variations in pace.
Tamim Iqbal was dismissed early in the piece, with Shardul Thakur pulling off a sensational catch on the boundary line.
Nonetheless, led by Sabbir Rahman, Bangladesh resurrected their innings.
Vijay played an uncharacteristic T20 innings and struggled to get going.
Vijay Shankar (0-48) and Shardul Thakur (0-45) took the maximum punishment, with the two going for almost 100 in eight overs.
His contribution was vital in restricting Bangladesh to a total less than 170. Even as all the frontline batsmen were dismissed, an unpleasant treat awaited India in the form of Mehidy Hasan. India finally managed to maintain its unbeaten record against Bangladesh in the Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) with this 4-wciket victory.
Chasing 167, Rohit got off the mark in grand style by lofting Shakib over mid-on for his first boundary. Soumya bowled three good deliveries after a wide. They continued stroking boundaries easily and scoring at a good clip.
WICKET! Mahmudullah has been run-out for 21 runs as India get their fifth wicket.
Nonetheless, Rohit continued his assault on the Bangladesh bowlers. By the time he had finished his third, he had only gone for 10 runs. However, he departed soon after, holing out to Mahmadullah at long on, in his bid to clear Nazmul Islam out of the ground.
Manish Pandey (28 runs), too, played a very important role in the middle to help India chase the target. The innings were opened by Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma (Captain) himself. However, Karthik had other ideas and smashed an 8-ball 29* to do what appeared impossible at one time.