"Romario Shepherd will be the next Kieron Pollard for Mumbai Indians.."- Former CSK legend's jaw-dropping claim

Published - 08 Apr 2024, 10:50 AM | Updated - 08 Apr 2024, 05:25 PM

Ambati Rayudu and Romario Shepherd
Ambati Rayudu and Romario Shepherd (Image Credits: Twitter)

Former India batter Ambati Rayudu praised Romario Shepherd for his all-round heroics during the match against the Delhi Capitals (DC). Ambati Rayudu drew parallels between Romario Shepherd and the legendary Kieron Pollard following the Mumbai Indians (MI) victory.

The Hardik Pandya-led side secured a 29-run victory over the Delhi Capitals at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Sunday, April 7. This marked the Mumbai-based team's first victory of the tournament. Romario Shepherd was named the Player of the Match for his sensational knock.

Openers Rohit Sharma (49 off 27) and Ishan Kishan (42 off 23) commenced their innings with a flying start, adding 80 runs in seven overs. Rohit fell short of a half-century and was dismissed by Axar Patel. Their momentum slowed down during the middle overs of the match.

Tim David (45* off 21) and Romario Shepherd (39* off 10) orchestrated a scintillating 53-run partnership for the sixth wicket. David smashed two fours and four sixes. Shepherd scored 32 runs, including four maximums and two boundaries, off the last over against Anrich Nortje.

The West Indies all-rounder concluded with an undefeated 39 runs from only 10 deliveries as the Mumbai-based team amassed 234 runs, losing five wickets in 20 overs. Shepherd then made a significant contribution by dismissing David Warner in his first over while defending the target.

Romario Shepherd Is Filling In His Shoes - Ambati Rayudu

Speaking on Star Sports, Ambati Rayudu praised Romario Shepherd's impactful performance, likening his batting style to that of Kieron Pollard. Rayudu expressed that Shepherd is effectively filling the void left by Pollard's absence from the MI team.

"Yeah, I think so. Because definitely, MI misses Pollard a lot. I think Romario Shepherd is filling in his shoes and the way he has been hitting the ball. And, you know, it reminds me of Pollard all those years back when the match is done. He used to really come out there and win the game for you. Romario is doing the same thing," Rayudu said.

Romario's onslaught propelled the Mumbai team to a total of 84 runs in the last four overs, marking the highest tally in the 17-to-20-over period in the ongoing season. This remarkable performance ensured that MI's bowlers had a formidable total to defend on a challenging pitch.

Everyone Wants To Bat A Bit - Romario Shepherd

In his post-match interview, Romario Shepherd emphasized the importance of adopting a clear mindset in the death overs, prioritizing hitting the ball over being tentative and seeking singles or twos.

"Everyone wants to bat a bit and before they start hitting, get used to the condition a bit. But whenever you're in the 17th over, you just go with a clear mind because there is no holding back," Shepherd told the media here after the match.

"Whenever you're in that kind of role you're even more dangerous, having to just hit the ball because when you 'see-ball hit-ball', it's a more clear mindset than having to be tentative and looking for ones and twos," he said.

The Mumbai Indians will face the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Thursday, April 11. Mumbai and RCB currently occupy the eighth and ninth positions, respectively, in the standings, each having won one match.

Also read: Rohit Sharma or MI owners? Sourav Ganguly reveals who's the reason behind Hardik Pandya being booed

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IPL 2024 Mumbai Indians (MI) Delhi Capitals (DC) Romario Shepherd Kieron Pollard Ambati Rayudu