Mahela Jayawardene, IPL
Mahela Jayawardene [Image Credit: IPLT20]

Mumbai Indians head coach Mahel Jayawardene revealed the reason behind all-rounder Hardik Pandya missing the match against Chennai Super Kings (CSK).

On Sunday, CSK beat MI by 20 runs as IPL 2021 resumed after four and a half months amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Dubai.

Hardik Pandya had a niggle: Mahela Jayawardene

The five-time IPL champions missed the service of star all-rounder Hardik. According to Jayawardene, the player went through a niggle and hence the team management decided to give him his space.

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya. Image-PTI

“Hardik was training, had a little niggle, so again precaution, we thought, let’s just give him extra days to see how things are, but nothing serious,” the Mumbai Indians head coach said during a virtual press conference.

MI not only missed Hardik but also captain Rohit Sharma as West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard stood in as the stand-in skipper of the team against CSK.

Jayawardene explained that since Rohit was coming from England tour the team management wanted him to get back in the groove and the head coach also said that the captain will be back in the next game.

Mahela Jayawardene
Mahela Jayawardene [Photo by: Ron Gaunt / Sportzpics for BCCI]
“Rohit was batting and doing his running as well, but after coming back from the UK, we felt that, he probably needed an extra few days, so should be fine to play the next game,” he said.

MI did not have someone like Ruturaj Gaikwad to bat: Mahela Jayawardene

Mumbai Indians pacers Trent Boult and Adam Milne gave the team a perfect start by restricting CSK to 24/4 in the powerplay.

A gritty knock by Ruturaj Gaikwad (88*) with some handful of cameos by Ravindra Jadeja (26) and Dwayne Brav0 (23) pushed CSK’s total to 156/6 in the first innings.

Ruturaj Gaikwad
Ruturaj Gaikwad. Credits: Twitter

MI had a good start but lost wickets in regular succession even though Pollard and Saurabh Tiwary gave hopes to chase the target. But once Pollard was trapped leg-before wicket by Josh Hazlewood, things went away from Mumbai’s hands.

Jayawardene felt that someone should have played like Ruturaj Gaikwad so that the team could have chased the target and win the game.

“We probably gave a couple of soft dismissals. It just needed someone to take a bit more responsibility and bat through the innings, which we did not do and that was a difference with Ruturaj (Gaikwad) doing that for CSK,” Jayawardene said.

“So, even though they (CSK) lost wickets, there was a set batsman, who went till the end. So, I think we’re disappointed, the way we handled the situation, the game awareness and the approach,” he added. 

MI will play Kolkata Knight Riders in their upcoming fixture on September 23 in Abu Dhabi.

Also Read: IPL 2021: Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai Indians Stats Review