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It was a day, when the cricket ball got a sound beating and the thousands that had thronged the Wankhede stadium to catch their favorite heroes in action got their money’s worth. Crowds in the stands ran for cover as they witnessed the Mumbai Indians’ batsmen going ballistic on a breezy tuesday evening. Two young lads, Dinesh Karthik and Rohit Sharma; were finding the sweet spot of the bat as they ripped apart the Delhi Daredevils bowlers to all parts of the ground.
IPLT20.com spoke exclusively to one of the architects of the 44-run win who has had a rather silent start to the tournament as he blazed his way to an unbeaten 74 off 50 balls. Copy book strokes, elegant stroke-play, cheeky boundaries, and some shots with a lot of muscle were on display by Rohit Sharma who stitched together a 132 run partnership with Dinesh Karthik for the third wicket.
“We just wanted to stick in there. We knew it was a good wicket to bat on. We just needed a big partnership and we got a crucial hundred plus partnership which is very crucial in this format of the game. Dinesh Karthik has been batting really well, so my job initially was to just rotate the strike and let him play as much as possible. I am glad that I finished off really well after his departure and got Mumbai off to a winning total.” Going into this game, Sharma had scores of 11 & 8 which definitely did not augur well with his critics, some who had already begun to write him off from the tournament. “I do not get worried too much with a few failures,” responded a confident Sharma.
“This is a format where you need a little bit of time to get into the groove and then score freely. This is my style of playing, this is the way I play and I am glad that I have got some runs and was at the winning side. I am happy with my performance and I look forward to continuing this.”
Rohit was severe against most of the DD bowlers, but took a liking towards the Daredevils’ ace pacer Morne Morkel, of whom he scored 27 of the twelve deliveries he faced. Rohit decided to keep things simple against Morne. “Morne is a quality bowler, I just played proper cricketing shots against him. I have been playing against him for the past couple of years or maybe more than that. I did not want to play any flashy shots and throw away my wicket.”
Rohit also insisted it was still early days in the tournament and Mumbai Indians and himself had a long way to go. “It was our first game here and it was an important game for us to perform. You might have seen teams talking about momentum in this format and it was important for us to win this game at home. Hopefully we can get things underway from here. I am happy with my performance and I just want to enjoy the game.”
And when asked about Ricky Ponting’s catch off the very first ball of the Daredevils’ run chase, Sharma exclaimed in admiration, “It was fantastic catch isn’t it. That shows what an outstanding fielder he is.”