Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma has rued the inability of his batsmen to convert their starts, as the defending champions slumped to a five-wicket defeat in the first game of IPL 2020 in Abu Dhabi. Seven Mumbai batsmen got to double figures, with only two of them getting past 20.
A boundary in the first ball of IPL 2020 from skipper Rohit Sharma gave everyone the impression that Mumbai were keen to pick up right where they left off last season, but a sloppy performance with bat and ball after a brisk start indicated that the defending champions still have a long way to go. After posting 162/9 after being inserted into bat by MS Dhoni’s CSK side, an uncharacteristically dull performance with the ball ensured that Mumbai, like multiple occasions in the past, started the season on a losing note.
However, despite the bowlers misfiring, skipper Rohit identified his batsmen’s inability to convert starts as the primary reason for the defeat. A total of seven Mumbai batsmen got to double figures, but none were able to push on and score a fifty, with Saurabh Tiwary (42) and Quinton de Kock (33) coming the closest to do so.
“Batsmen didn't carry on once they got in like Du Plessis and Rayudu did. That's something we failed to do. But credit to CSK bowlers, they kept us guessing all the time. Something for us to learn. Still early days, but credit to CSK. We all want to start really well, it's crucial in this tournament to get that balance right. A few things for us to learn from this game, we made mistakes. Hopefully we can rectify those and come back stronger,” Rohit said after the match.
While Mumbai got off to an extremely bright start with both and ball, they faded on both fronts with time, with Dhoni’s men outsmarting and outlasting them en route to an easy win. Rohit noted that his side needed to learn to adapt to conditions better and plan the game out more efficiently.
“We've got to understand and adapt to the pitches. The pitch got Better towards the end with end ew coming. It's not that we've not played at bigger grounds. We've got to hit those gaps and make sure we get singles and doubles, it's not just about hitting the shots. It's all about understanding what one needs to do,” said the MI skipper.
Despite the game being played in front of empty stands, the organizers did the best by piping in crowd noise and also playing music at the stadium. The 33-year-old claimed that it was weird to have no fans support the players but lauded the organizers for the effort they took to keep the atmosphere alive.
“It was completely from what we're used to, having so many people cheer for us at the stadium. But I think IPL did a great Jon making sure there was some noise going around the stadium.”