MUMBAI: Both Dinesh Karthik and Rohit Sharma have had plenty to prove in recent times. Karthik, in fact, was once rated by Australia’s then India coach Greg Chappell as a future India captain.
Six years hence, that observation seemed more like a poor joke on Karthik than anything else. The Tamil Nadu cricketer seemed to be fading into oblivion.
Rohit Sharma, on the other hand, is fast slipping into a zone where people wonder what he ‘could have been’ and pity him for what ‘he has become.’
On Tuesday night at the Wankhede against the Delhi Daredevils, however, both looked keen to put all that behind for a while.
Karthik blasted 86 off 48 balls, with 68 of his runs coming in boundaries (14 fours and two sixes) while Rohit smashed 74 off 50 balls (4×6, 5×4) to snuff the life out of the Daredevils.
The duo helped Mumbai Indians race to a massive 209/5, easily the highest in this season of the league.
The target, expectedly, proved too much for the Daredevils who could muster 165/9 to lose by 44 runs, their third loss in as many games this season.
David Warner hit around powerfully to make 61 off 37 balls but did not get much of a support from his colleagues. Manpreet Juneja’s 49 was too slow to be effective in the situation.
It was Karthik who pegged Delhi back when they seemed full of life, having seen the back of the ‘dream pair’ of Ricky Ponting and Sachin Tendulkar as early as the second over.
The wicketkeeper-batsman, who with scores of 60 and 37 in the previous two games, seems to have hit a purple patch, took the attack to the rivals in some style.
He and Rohit added 132 in just 79 balls as Mumbai Indians recovered from one for two to post their second 200-plus score against Delhi. While Rohit regaled everyone with his strokeplay, Karthik stole the night with some breathtaking strokes.