Wicket-keeper batsman Ishan Kishan’s dazzling 99 run knock was the main highlight in Mumbai Indians’ run chase against the Royal Challengers Bangalore last night. Kieron Pollard‘s 24 balls 60 played perfect cushion to Kishan’s inning but the match had to be decided in a super over.
Much to everyone’s surprise, the defending champions decided to go with Hardik Pandya along with Pollard in the super over, leaving out the in-form Ishan Kishan. Things did not go according to plan for the men in blue as they could only manage 7 runs off Navdeep Saini’s bowling and lost the match to Royal Challengers Bangalore.
While the decision has been heavily criticized, Mumbai Indians head coach Mahela Jayawardene has come out defending the tactic. According to Jayawardene, Ishan Kishan was tired after playing a long inning and the team had faith in their experienced players to do the job.
“If anyone could see, [Kishan] was very tired at that moment and we were thinking that we probably need a couple of fresh guys who can go and hit the ball,” said Mahela.
“It is quite easy to say in hindsight this and that, but Polly (Pollard) and Hardik had done the job in the past in those Super Overs, two experienced guys who are capable of doing that. So you take a chance on these calls and it could have gone either way. If we had 10-12 runs anything could have happened,” he added.
Jayawardene admitted that his team failed to play smart shots in the super over which left Jasprit Bumrah with the monumental task of defending such a low score.
“In the Super Over, we had three dots, so that’s a killer for you because we lost a wicket and then we had a couple of more dots. We needed to make sure that we played some smart shots, get that early boundary away, which we couldn’t, we had one, but a couple of boundaries would have been really handy especially when Booms (Bumrah) comes to bowl.”
“AB [de Villiers] and Booms is a great tussle, they went at each other, a bit of a boxing game, but we probably didn’t have enough runs for Booms to defend but we were still very close,” added Jayawardene.
Talking about Ishan Kishan, Mahela said that the message for him was to take the game deep when Mumbai lost wickets early.
“During the middle period we just wanted to make sure that he bats through the innings. We knew that he could put their bowling under pressure, so the message for him was to take it deep, because we had lost a few wickets, so he did that brilliantly and took his chance, played some really good shots. It was a brilliant partnership between him and Polly and [they] almost got us home.”
Mumbai Indians will take on Kings XI Punjab in their next game at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi, on Thursday.