Rohit Sharma, the Mumbai Indians (MI) skipper, was pleased with his side’s win over the Punjab Kings (PBKS) in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday as MI registered a 6-wicket win and also broke their three-game losing streak this tournament.
Mumbai chased down the target of 136 with 6 balls and 6 wickets in hand. After the bowlers did their job once again, to halt the opposition to a chasable total, it was Saurabh Tiwary and Hardik Pandya who played crucial knocks to help Mumbai find the winning momentum in the season.
“We do agree that we didn’t play to our potential, but it’s a long tournament and we need to stick to our plans and reading the situations is very important and we can take a lot of confidence from that. Important not to lose the guard,” Rohit Sharma said at the post-match presentation.
The big positive out of the game was the return-to-form of Hardik Pandya. The right-hander smacked 4 fours and 2 sixes in his 30-ball 40-run unbeaten innings while finishing the chase with a maximum off Mohammed Shami. Rohit Sharma lauded Pandya for his game awareness as it was a tricky situation in which he came in to bat.
“The way he understood the situation was very crucial from a team’s perspective, it’s important for him to spend the time in the middle as he’s coming back from an injury.”
On dropping Ishan Kishan, the MI skipper said it was a difficult decision to make, but one which needed to be made as the left-hander was woefully out of touch. His replacement in the side, Saurabh Tiwary, played a “perfect role” in victory with his 37-ball 45.
“It’s a tough call and he seems very confident and the reply you get from him was very boosting as well. Saurabh has played the perfect role today and he’s done well to nudge around in the middle overs. We are gonna back him as he’s a very important player for us,” Rohit Sharma added.
Pollard’s been crucial part of MI for so many years: Rohit Sharma
It was Kieron Pollard who bagged the Man of the Match award – not for his batting, though, but for the damage he did in just one over of bowling. Pollard dismissed Chris Gayle and KL Rahul with the ball, before whacking 15 runs off 7 balls during the chase. Sharma was all praise for his West Indian match-winner.
“The ball was coming off when we started off and the grass is coming off the surface in the middle overs and we need to adjust to the conditions. He (Pollard) is one of our key players; crucial part of MI for so many years. He will be happy with taking the ‘Man of the Match’ for his bowling performance,” Rohit Sharma concluded.
Mumbai Indians now have moved up to the 5th spot in the points table with 10 points, same as the fourth-placed Kolkata Knight Riders. They take on the Delhi Capitals on Saturday afternoon in Sharjah.