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Anand Subramaniam in Mumbai 08 April 2013 - 08:45pm IST

I Would love to finish games more often: Karthik

Team excited to play in front of the home crowd says wicket-keeper-batsman

It will be their first game in their home ground and when the Mumbai Indians step out to face the Delhi Daredevils on Tuesday, be rest assured to see a wave of blue and not surprisingly the loudest cheer for the home team.

The team will obviously be pumped up after a brilliant victory against the Chennai Super Kings in their previous fixture amidst a sea of yellow, and Dinesh Karthik said the team was excited to play their first game in front of their home crowd. “Obviously as a team we are excited to play our first game in front of our home ground. Last year the stadium was packed and we are expecting a big crowd and looking to do well against the Delhi Daredevils. “

The big question was if Lasith Malinga would feature in his first game of the IPL tomorrow. “Malinga came for practice today and he is eager to play. We will take a call on him tomorrow, “ added Karthik.

The Mumbai Indians snatched a victory from the jaws of defeat as the match against the Chennai Super Kings went on till the last over. CSK captain MS Dhoni had almost got his team home by his own might, but it was a stunning catch by Pollard that brought back the game into MI’s hands. Obviously a win like that has to keep the team in high spirits.

“It was a game where both the teams played cricket of the highest quality and we were able to hold our nerves till the end. At one point of time everybody thought that MS Dhoni was going to take away the game away from us. But thanks to Pollard, we got him in the last over and the way Munaf bowled and finished the game for us, we are really happy the way the team has done.”

Not just Pollard, Karthik on a personal front too has had a rollicking start to this year’s IPL. He got a 37 ball 60 against RCB and a 25 ball 37 in the match against CSK, but failed to carry his bat till the end of the innings on both occasions, something that the wicketkeeper batsman wants to improve on.

“I am happy with the way I am batting. Having said that I feel, I should have finished the game in Bangalore but I did not do that, but Keiron Pollard did that wonderfully for us in Chennai. If you are batting well, it is important to finish games off.”

Whether Karthik works on his weaknesses and delivers more consistently is yet to be seen, but at the moment he is enjoying his stint with the Ricky Ponting led Mumbai Indians. “Ricky Ponting has always been one of my favorite players. I have admired his batting and was really looking forward to meeting him and being a part of his team. The way he has positive energy and the way he is doing things is wonderful. I am really looking forward to a few more games with him.”

When asked if the team were failing to get quick starts with Ricky Ponting and Sachin Tendulkar opening the innings, Karthik said, “In the two wickets we have played, it was seaming a bit in Bangalore and there was a bit of seam in Chennai as well. It was important for us to see off the initial overs and then start scoring freely. We did not lose any wickets in the first fifty runs and infact Ponting and Sachin actually got us to a good start. We are very happy with the way things are going.” 

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