Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma, who orchestrated a heist in Chennai, expressed delight over the character shown by his side and insisted that the victory will do wonders to the players’ confidence. Rohit heaped praise on the bowlers who displayed nerves of steel in the second innings.
With Kolkata Knight Riders needing just 31 off 5 overs to win the contest, with six wickets in hand, the game looked out of reach even for Mumbai, but a quite astonishing and dramatic turnaround saw the defending champions trump the Knight Riders. A nerveless performance from the bowlers, coupled with the never-say-die attitude of the whole group, saw Mumbai choke Eoin Morgan’s KKR to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat to register their first win of IPL 2021 after looking certain, at one point, to lose back-to-back games.
The victory was orchestrated by Mumbai’s spinners, Rahul Chahar and Krunal Pandya, and speaking in the post match presentation, skipper Rohit Sharma heaped praise on the duo. Rohit expressed delight and satisfaction over the character shown by his side and asserted that the close win will prove to be ‘huge’ for Mumbai’s confidence, going forward.
“It was a great fightback considering where the game was while they were batting. Anyone who came to bowl at different stages wanted to put their hands up and do something for the team. We can take a lot of confidence from this game,” Rohit said in the post match presentation.
“There were lots of positives. The way KKR started, they batted brilliantly in the first six overs. But once the powerplay was gone, the way Rahul came and got wickets was crucial. And Krunal at the end was also crucial. I can praise all the bowlers, honestly. Good signs for the team moving forward.”
Mumbai’s bowlers pulled a rabbit out of the hat, but the side’s batting was still far from satisfactory. For the second game running, the defending champions suffered a collapse at the death as after coasting at 115/3 at one point, the team lost its next 7 wickets for just 37 runs to get bowled out for 152. Rohit admitted that his team did not bat well, and acknowledged that his side will have to work on finishing games with the bat better.
“Definitely not easy on this pitch, a set batter needs to carry on as long as possible. The trend in Chennai is when the new batsman comes in, it becomes hard to go from ball one, unlike Wankhede. To be honest, we were 15-20 runs short. The way we started, we should have batted better. That's happened twice, we need to see how to get better.”
One man from Mumbai who batted with ease, though, was Suryakumar Yadav, who registered his first fifty of the season in trademark swashbuckling fashion. Despite coming on the back of an early wicket, Suryakumar played without fear and took the attack to the KKR bowlers to help his side wrestle back the initiative. Rohit expressed admiration for Suryakumar’s ‘fearless’ attitude and encouraged the 30-year-old to keep batting the same way for the rest of the competition.
“But I don't want to take credit away from the team. I think SKY is carrying that form that he had when he played for India. He's very fearless when he bats. When he plays those shots it doesn't look like he's taking risks, those are cricketing shots.
“We need a guy who bats fearlessly. I'm glad that we could get some partnerships in the middle and get a decent total. We need to just figure out how to finish innings in the last 5 overs. We've done that in the past.”
Mumbai will play their third game of the season against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Chennai on April 17.