IPL 2022: Kumar Kartikeya emerges as yet another exciting youngster for Mumbai Indians
Mumbai, May 2 (IANS) When Kumar Kartikeya Singh was announced as the replacement for an injured Arshad Khan in the Mumbai Indians' squad in IPL 2022, many had little knowledge about who he was and what he brought to the table.
A small insight into what Kartikeya brought, as seen from the statement by the franchise: "Kumar Kartikeya Singh, has been with the Mumbai Indians as part of the support team and has now signed on to join the squad for the 2022 season. Kumar Kartikeya is a slow left-arm bowler and has represented Madhya Pradesh across all three formats of the game since making his debut in 2018. Kumar Kartikeya has been impressive in the nets and his learning trajectory on improving and fine-tuning his bowling skills have earned him the call up to the main squad."
On Saturday, Kartikeya showed why Mumbai fast-tracked him from a net bowler to a replacement player and then gave him an IPL debut against Rajasthan Royals at DY Patil Stadium.
He, along with young Delhi off-spinner Hrithik Shokeen, deprived Rajasthan from the acceleration in the middle overs, setting the base for Mumbai's first win of IPL 2022.
In his four overs, Kartikeya showed his repertoire of leg-break, googly, carrom ball and an occasional seam-up ball as well in an impressive IPL debut of 1/19, taking the wicket of Rajasthan captain Sanju Samson. During the mid-innings break chat, he referred to himself as a 'mystery spinner'.
"It was a great feeling (on IPL debut). I was a little nervous when told I am going to play. I started planning for batters last night itself. For Sanju (Samson), I wanted to bowl on the pads, but he moved away early so I had to bowl wide to him. It is a normal pitch. The ball is turning a little."
After Mumbai won, he was awarded the dressing room 'Man of the Match' by the team. He left even the franchise owner Nita Ambani impressed. "Bohot Aache khele aap (You played really well.) May you continue to shine like this," were her words to Kartikeya.
The pursuit of shining at the biggest stage involved a huge sacrifice from Kartikeya. "I haven't been home for 9 years. I'd decided to return home only when I achieve something in life. My mom and dad called me frequently, but I was committed. Now finally I'll return home after the IPL," were his words to Dainik Jagran.
With Mumbai now virtually out of the race for playoffs, they can find solace in the fact that in Kartikeya they have got an exciting youngster who could be a vital cog in the wheel for coming editions of the tournament.