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‘Haven’t been home for 9 years’

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MI won their first match of IPL 2022 after beating RR on April 30.

Kumar Kartikeya
Kumar Kartikeya (Photo Source: Twitter)

The five-time champions Mumbai Indians (MI) registered their first victory in the 15th edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 after beating the Rajasthan Royals (RR) in their previous match played on April 30 (Saturday). Batter Suryakumar Yadav was adjudged player of the match for his performance. However, MI debutant Kumar Kartikeya impressed everyone with his exceptional bowling skills.

The 24-year-old bowled his full four-over quota and gave away only 19 runs to put the brakes on Rajasthan batters. Kartikeya also grabbed the prized scalp of RR skipper Sanju Samson who was going all guns blazing at one end before getting dismissed on his score of 16 runs.

Kumar Kartikeya was signed by MI as a replacement for injured Arshad Khan

To note, the Men in Blue and Gold had recently signed the left-arm spinner as an injury replacement for Arshad Khan. Hailing from Sultanpur, Uttar Pradesh, the 24-year-old identified himself as a “mystery” bowler during the innings break in the last match. The also admitted that he was a little nervous before making his IPL debut.

“I am a mystery bowler. I feel good. When I found out I was playing I was a little nervous. But I planned overnight for every batter. I was trying to bowl it on the pads to Samson. I got a lot of confidence when Sachin sir advised me,” he said during the innings break.

Coming from a humble background, the 24-year-old also revealed that he has not visited his hometown for the past nine years. “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,” Kartikeya told Dainik Jagran.

Meanwhile, MI will now take on the strong-looking Gujarat Titans in their next group stage match of IPL. The match is slated to be played at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai on May 6 (Friday).

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