Indian team’s head coach Ravi Shastri feels that Mumbai Indians (MI) all-rounder Hardik Pandya can string a few match-winning scores once he gets into the groove. Hardik is playing as a specialist batsman for MI so far in the second leg of the IPL 2021 season.
In MI’s previous match against Punjab Kings (PBKS), Hardik looked scratchy initially before he scored some valuable runs for himself and the side. He dined on freebies dished out by Mohammed Shami in particular, ending unbeaten on 40 off 30 balls to guide his side home. This should help him find his rhythm which is quite important for a player like Hardik, as noted by Ravi Shastri.
“Hardik Pandya’s very much a confidence player. Sometimes, when you are not 100 percent, it can play on your mind. So it was important from Mumbai Indians’ (MI) point of view that he first got on to the park, and then scored the runs. I have known Hardik for a long time. Once he gets into the groove, he can string 4-5 match-winning scores,” Shastri stated on FanCode.
“I would give Mumbai Indians the edge against Delhi” – Ravi Shastri
MI and DC will go head-to-head on Saturday in the afternoon game. Both have their own goals to accomplish – MI needs a win to stay alive and kicking in the tournament while DC needs a victory to further strengthen their top two spots. Ravi Shastri termed MI as the team holding the edge, with the defending champions slowly clawing their way back into the competition.
“Both MI and DC are very good, but I would give Mumbai the edge. Delhi faltered in the last game and Mumbai are just getting that upswing going with Hardik getting some runs. Let’s face it, Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav are due. If they start firing as well, then it’s a different ball game. So I would give them the edge. You want it for the IPL. Delhi are already through. You want some maara-maari (fight) now for that third and fourth spot. Any supporter would want that. So just for that sake, I am saying Mumbai,” Shastri said cheekily.
MI is in the sixth position with ten points – same as Punjab Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders but with a game in hand. A win will take them into fourth place on the table.