A jubilant Rohit Sharma hailed the encounter between MI and CSK on Saturday night as one of the best T20 games that he has ever been part of after Kieron Pollard’s power-hitting for the ages propelled the defending champions to the second-highest run-chase in IPL history.
In a game where the likes of Moeen Ali and Ambati Rayudu have already left a mark on the game with whirlwind hitting, it was Kieron Pollard’s 34-ball 87 that trumped everyone as the West Indian swashbuckler pulled off one of the greatest-ever knocks in one of the best T20 game of all times.
With Mumbai Indians needing 15.63 runs per over from the last eight over, Kieron Pollard peeled off six fours and eight sixes to help his team seal the deal in the final over.
Rohit Sharma reckoned that with the pitch being flat and ground small, he knew that the bowlers were always going to be under pressure and so his aim was to get a good start- which they did- to set up the game for the Pollards’ and Pandyas’.
Krunal Pandya (32 off 23 balls) struggled to get going at the start but with Pollard on a rampage at the other end, the all-rounder also switched gears to smash Shardul Thakur for two sixes and a four in the 17th over before he was eventually dismissed by Sam Curran.
On the reasoning behind Krunal Pandya batting at No.4 since the last two games, Rohit said that with the all-rounder coming off a brilliant domestic season and the fact that the presence of a left-hander during the middle-overs helps in unsettling the line of the bowlers are the prime reasons behind the tactical move.
“Probably one of the best T20 games that I’ve been part of. One of the best innings also you can say from Polly. I know it’s always tough for the bowlers on a good pitch and smaller ground. We wanted to stay positive once we finished [bowling our] 20 overs. We got a good start and saw what happened,” Rohit Sharma said in the post-match presentation.
”We backed Krunal [at No.4] and he’s coming off good form in domestic cricket. A left-hander always makes a difference even though they [CSK] have an offspinner. It suits our style of play and yes the bowlers will be under pressure, but that’s where you back the bowlers,” said Rohit Sharma.
“I mean we just had a brief chat [at the innings break] and said it was a good pitch. We had shot-makers in our batting line-up and we just wanted to take the game in the end. Brilliant partnership at the top and Krunal-Polly partnership was also there,” said Rohit.
Rohit signed off by backing his bowlers, who, just like the Chennai Super Kings bowler had a pretty tough night at the office.
”There will be games where the bowlers will go for runs, but it’s important to back your core group of bowlers,” he added.