After registering a crucial win against Punjab Kings (PBKS) on Tuesday, Kieron Pollard said that the players in Mumbai Indians (MI) dressing room have belief in one another. Mumbai chased the target of 136 runs to keep their playoffs qualification alive thanks to Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya.
Mumbai captain Rohit Sharma won the toss and elected to bowl first against Punjab Kings. Punjab openers KL Rahul and Mandeep Singh stitched an opening partnership of 36 runs before Mandeep Singh was trapped lbw by Krunal Pandya. Kieron Pollard bowled the last over of the powerplay in which he took the prized wickets of Chris Gayle and Punjab captain KL Rahul which broke the back of Punjab’s innings. Aiden Markram and Deepak Hooda tried to resurrect the innings with the partnership of 61 runs for the fifth wicket but after the departure of Aiden Markram, who was bowled by Rahul Chahar, Punjab struggled to score a single boundary and settled down for 135/6 in 20 overs.
In reply, Mumbai Indians struggled to get going as Ravi Bishnoi took two back-to-back wickets of Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav in his first over. Quinton De Kock and Saurabh Tiwari tried to steady the chase with a partnership of 45 runs for third wicket before de Kock was cleaned up by Mohammad Shami. Saurabh Tiwari couldn’t finish the game for his team as he got out to Nathan Ellis when the scorecard read 92/4. Hardik Pandya was joined by Kieron Pollard at this critical juncture. Pandya showed glimpses of his return to form during the unbeaten partnership of 45 runs with Pollard as he scored 40 not out off just 30 balls. Pollard scored 15 runs off just seven balls as the defending champions chased the target of 136 runs with one over to spare.
"We don't plan it to be like this because it's a lot of pressure on us as cricketers to win all the games at the backend. But what we have in the dressing room is belief - belief in one another and belief that we can get ourselves out of any situation. We have guys who have been there in tough times, in different scenarios, at different times. At the end of the day, we've put oursleves in a situation where we are at now. So it's just about us sticking together and getting ourselves out of it," Pollard said after the 6-wicket win.
The performance of Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan and Krunal Pandya with the bat have been below-par this season, and it has reflected in the team's batting numbers.
However, Pollard has backed the trio and said, "It's just a matter of giving the guys the confidence that they've done it before and can do it again. To find the problem and then find the best solutions to what's happening. These are the guys who have done it for us time and time again. It's difficult when you have a lot of people on the outside speaking about it. At the end of the day, these people speak and don't understand what a person goes through as a cricketer. For us, it's about backing them and giving them the confidence that they can do well as young, talented individuals.
"People are going on about the pitches and wickets. But you can't get what you want all the time. You just need to adapt at different times."
With this win, MI have jumped to fifth position in the points table and have kept the hopes of qualifying for the playoffs alive. MI will next play against Delhi Capitals (DC) on October 2 in Sharjah.