Captains Rohit and Karthik to cross swords before flight to England

Rohit Sharma and Dinesh Karthik, skippers of Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders, have not had the usual impact with the bat in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019.

Sharma and Karthik will team up in the Indian team for the World Cup in England.   -  ISL/SPORTZPICS

They were a part of India’s triumphant sojourn in the maiden World Twenty20 in South Africa in 2007. Ten days after the Indian Premier League final, they will board a flight to England in a quest to help India regain the 50-over World Cup. Come Sunday and Rohit Sharma and Dinesh Karthik will be looking forward to leading from the front for their respective teams in the in the concluding league clash of the IPL 2019.

While Rohit’s Mumbai Indians will be vying to finish the league stage in top two and keep a window for an additional opportunity to feature in the big finale, Karthik’s Kolkata Knight Riders would either be in a must-win position to make it to the Playoffs or be keen to sign off a topsy-turvy campaign on a high.

Irrespective of the situation, both the captains will be desperate to make a telling contribution with the willow and get into groove for the World Cup. Interestingly, both Rohit and Karthik have had a relatively quiet IPL with the willow so far.

A tally of 331 runs from 12 innings - all as an opener - with just one fifty is certainly not great by Rohit’s usually high standards in white-ball cricket. What has been surprising this season is the fact that the MI captain has been unable to convert multiple starts he has got in the tournament.

Karthik, on the other hand, seems to have under-used himself with the willow. With Andre Russell having emerged as phenomenal yet consistent finisher, Karthik has been relatively quiet with the willow. The only time he took guard early in the innings, he made a huge impact with an astonishing unbeaten 97 versus Rajasthan Royals.


All-rounders Hardik Pandya and Andre Russell have had phenomenal seasons with the bat and ball. PHOTO: ISL/SPORTZPICS


The diminutive dynamo will be eager to repeat the heroics at one of his most favourite venues. Karthik was one of the star performers of Mumbai Indians’ maiden title-winning run in IPL in 2013 and he would hope to return to Wankhede with a bang.

Rohit, on the other hand, would be eager to make up for a rare low score at Eden Gardens over the last weekend. Both Rohit and Mumbai Indians enjoy an enviable record against Kolkata Knight Riders. The MI skipper would be raring to go against his favourite opponent and end MI’s home run on a perfect note.

No doubt the glitzy affair at Wankhede could well be decided by the face-off between in-form all-rounders Andre Russell and Hardik Pandya. But with the high stakes involved, don’t be surprised if the charismatic captains steal the show.