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May 8, 2013
As Mumbai Indians dealt Kolkata Knight Riders' chances of defending their IPL title an almost fatal blow on Tuesday, beating them by a whopping 65 runs, Sachin Tendulkar served up his most impactful showing of the season till now. Even as his opening partner Dwayne Smith struggled to score at a run-a-ball, Tendulkar knocked off 48 off 28 at a strike rate of 171.42 to help set his team on their way to 170.
Till the Knight Riders game, Tendulkar had been striking it at a rather sedate rate (after the game, his season's strike rate stands at 125.13). However, he has looked to be aggressive whenever he has got in, Tendulkar said. "If you look at the whole season, whenever I've batted, I've not been able to spend much time in the middle. But whenever I've batted, I think it has been pretty aggressively," he said after the match. "Every day you can't go out and find the middle of the bat. This [Wankhede pitch] is the kind of surface where there's a bit of help too upfront for the seamers, and so when you're striking the ball well, you should be aggressive and make the most of it.
"Today was one of those days when I was striking the ball well and I thought that if I'm striking the ball well, I should be the one who is more aggressive."
He has been enjoying his time in the IPL, Tendulkar said, and "sharing" with his Mumbai Indians team-mates. "I'm enjoying, I'm in love with this game. The passion for the game is very much there, so whatever time I get on the field I make the most of it.
"It's all about give and take [with team-mates]. It's not about just being one-way traffic, where I just keep saying things and I don't absorb anything from them. I've learnt a lot from many guys in the team and it's about discussing cricket. The more you discuss the better you get, the more you know. It's all about sharing."
Dinesh Karthik, meanwhile, continued his prime form for Mumbai Indians, stringing together 34 not out off 18 in the victory. He and the team have been benefitting a lot from Ricky Ponting's presence, Karthik said. "The other day I had a doubt and I walked up to Ricky. All he said was that if you see the ball and think you can hit it, you hit it," Karthik told the IPL site. "That, I thought was a very positive input and the one I really liked.
"He is the biggest thing to have happened to Mumbai Indians. He has this aura about him and he brings in a lot of positive energy into the team. Some of the things that he says in team meetings and some of the points he brings to the fore are really hair-raising. He is the key reason for us to be so positive and motivated."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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