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Prajakta Pawar in Delhi 20 April 2013 - 06:48pm IST

Need to watch out for a hungry DD: Karthik

MI's 'keeper-batsman says his team needs to focus going into Delhi clash

The Mumbai Indians have already beaten the Delhi Daredevils earlier in the tournament and would like to add two more points to their tally with a win at the Feroz Shah Kotla on April 20.

The Ricky Ponting-led side will face off against a home team that is still seeking to get off the mark.

Speaking about the opposition who will seek to go for the kill, Mumbai Indians’ keeper-batsman, Dinesh Karthik said, “On an honest note, I think the Delhi Daredevils are a good team. For us it is not about looking at how they have played, it is important that we look at how we have played.

We have played five games and won three. We have played some good cricket and some ordinary cricket too. So looking at DD and looking at their track record, I am sure that they are a very good team and there is no doubting that, just that they have still not performed to their potential.
And the good thing is that we have a good chance if we play well. We need to watch out as they are a team which is very hungry for their first win, so it works both ways. It is important for us to concentrate on the way we play.”

The 27-year old, has been an important cog in the MI line-up and made vital contributions with the bat in the Pepsi Indian Premier League 2013. Speaking about his performances with the willow, Karthik said, “So far my batting has been good and the confidence is good too so it is important I be consistent for my team.”

However, it is the opening pair that has not been clicking for the Mumbai Indians but, Karthik does not feel that it is an area of concern given the stature of the openers – Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting. The No 3 bat believes that the veterans will deliver soon.

“Barring a couple of games we haven’t got a good start yet, but they are the kind of players we all know can produce results and I am sure they will deliver,” he said.

Speaking about batting at No 3 and the opportunities that the position offers him, Karthik elaborated, “As a batsman, the great thing about Mumbai Indians is Anil bhai (Anil Kumble), Ricky (Ponting) and John (Wright) have placed faith and sent me at No 3 and it is important that, if not for anything else, I deliver for those three people. That is what I am looking to do with the bat and T20 is such a format that the openers and the No 3 have the best chance to score runs because they get to play more number of overs. I am very thankful and grateful to MI for that.”

“In terms of quantum of runs, you can score a lot more runs if you are opening or batting at No 3, as you go lower down the order you get lesser number of balls (to face) and the strike rate matters a great deal. Having said that, the openers and No 3 have a great responsibility because the whole team and the batting order will depend on them to deliver and the results will go on the way we bat,” he added.

Elaborating on his role further, Karthik added, “There is no specific role as such. Depending on the situation I just go out there and see what I need to do. In the last game the wicket was doing a bit so if I played a stupid shot and got out, it didn’t make sense so I thought I will play as much as I can and then start playing shots. But I have not been given anything specific to do. All I have been told is to go out there and play my natural game and that is something I am really grateful for.”

Asked if there will be changes to the line-up he said that they will only know about it later in the day.

Continuing to discuss his own batting and asked whether with his current form he hopes to don the National jersey soon, he replied, “I am always confident of my batting abilities and I have always felt that I can play for India as a batsman. There is all reason for me to play again in the Indian team as a batsman and I am very confident that I can deliver. I am someone who can field well as well so I have always been confident of my batting abilities and I am very sure that I will deliver for team India when given the opportunity. At the same time the selectors are also aware of the fact that I can field and considering the way the team is doing everything is going well and I am raring to be part of the team again.”

Since he is likely to be in the out-field if he turns out for the national team, would he be considering fielding in the outfield for MI as well?

Karthik said, “It doesn’t require for me to field in the IPL to play as a batsman in the Indian team. I think at the moment if you say an Aditya Tare comes in the team and he is part of the eleven, I am sure I will be fielding and have already done that. And I have fielded in the IPL for Kings XI Punjab too. So fielding has never been an issue for me and I am always somebody who is very confident about my fielding ability. I have had a good domestic season as a batsman and I am very sure that given an opportunity for team India I will do the best that I can in any format.”

While speaking about the opportunities in the IPL, he also said, “The IPL is a platform where you play the best bowlers. Tomorrow when you are playing against the Delhi Daredevils you are playing Morne Morkel who is a top bowler in the world right now and if you get runs against him it is going to be a great morale booster for you. So every team that you play, you play Sunrisers Hyderabad you play Dale Steyn. So you play against the best bowlers and are always looking forward to doing well. The difference between domestic cricket and IPL is that you get to play overseas fast bowlers who are playing for their country. So if you play against them then you know that you are there and that you are ready to perform for team India as well. But having said that, the pressure is different when you play for the country.” 

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