Kieron Pollard, Mumbai Indians all-rounder and their stand-in captain for the game against the Chennai Super Kings, has explained the reason behind handing over the new ball to pace sensation, Jasprit Bumrah, on Friday.
On Friday, the new-ball opening pair of Trent Boult and Jasprit Bumrah inflicted havoc on the CSK batting-unit by reducing them to 4-3 in the first 3 overs. Boult started the onslaught by dismissing Ruturaj Gaikwad for a duck before Jasprit Bumrah joined the party by knocking over Ambati Rayudu and N Jagadeesan in the next over.
Pollard said that the major reason behind handing the new ball to Jasprit Bumrah was because of the hint of early swing and also because of the fact that he wanted to unleash his most experienced bowler against Ambati Rayudu, someone who has been successful against the Mumbai Indians in the past.
”It was good to see bowlers went and executed. We wanted to set the tone really really early as a bowling unit and we did that. Opening with our two main bowlers, obviously we weren’t thinking of Jasprit with the new ball but after that over from Trent Boult and getting that early wicket, Rayudu too has batted well against us in the past, just decided to go for him (Bumrah) and it worked,” Kieron Pollard said during the post-match press conference.
“We were thinking Trent opening the bowling and then go Nathan (Coulter-Nile) or a spinner but with a couple of balls swinging, getting an early wicket and Rayudu coming in, we had to go to our most experienced bowler,” Pollard added.
‘Early wickets actually worked for us’- Kieron Pollard
When asked about the reasons behind opting to bowl first, Kieron Pollard said that aside from the fact that he prefers chasing, he had seen CSK batsmen struggle while batting first in their last fixture against Rajasthan Royals, something he and his team wanted to exploit.
”We batted first the first time we played it was day game but scores have been a bit lower. I am a big believer that you are always in the game when you batting second. And I rather prefer to chase 160 then to defend 160. CSK didn’t bat in their last game too so putting them under pressure and then early wickets actually worked for us,” said Pollard.
The target of 115 was chased down in a canter by the opening duo of Ishan Kishan and Quinton de Kock, helping MI to reclaim the No.1 spot in the points table. But despite such a dominating run, Kieron Pollard asserted that the focus of the team is to keep improving as a team ahead of the knockouts.
”Our focus areas will be always be improving as a team, thinking about what we need to do as a team. So as a team we try to take one step at a time. No thought as of now to try the bench strength,” said Pollard.